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Penne with Tomato Cream

Posted May 24 2010 2:16pm

This pasta recipe calls for vodka. Don't worry about using it because the alcohol cooks off and it helps to blends the flavors, leaving no vodka taste behind.

1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/8 to 1/4 t. crushed red pepper
1 can ( 28 oz.) tomatoes in puree, coarsely chopped
3 T. vodka (opt.)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. heavy or whipped cream
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
1 pkg. (16 oz.) penne or rotini
1/2 c. loosely packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

In nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook until garlic is golden, about 30 seconds longer.
Stir in tomatoes with their puree, vodka if using, and salt; heat to boiling over high heat.
Reduce heat and simmer until sauce has thickened, 15-20 minutes. Stir in cream and peas; heat to boiling.
Meanwhile in large saucepot, cook pasta as label directs. Drain. In warm serving bowl, toss pasta with sauce and sprinkle with basil.

***As an alternate idea, add deveined, cooked shrimp or cooked, chunked chicken when tossing together at the end.

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