Recipe courtesy of Food Network

Penne alla Vodka

Although this dish, now listed on countless Italian restaurant menus, has a certain novelty, it takes just one bite to discover how successful the combination is. This version comes from Le Sirenuse, in Positano, Italy.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2/3 cup vodka

3/4 cup canned tomato puree

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 pound cooked ham, finely chopped

2 drops hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco), or to taste

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1 pound penne

3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in vodka, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 4 minutes. Add tomato puree and cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in ham, Tabasco, salt, and pepper. Keep sauce warm over very low heat. Cook pasta in 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt per every 4 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water and drain pasta. Add pasta to sauce and toss with sauce and cheese, adding some of reserved cooking water if pasta seems dry.