Saturday, December 02, 2006

Pasta with Tomato, Cream, Red Pepper & Vodka Sauce

From The Four Seasons of Pasta-Barilla

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into thin slivers
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 can (28oz) Italian-style plum tomatoes, with juices
1 box (16oz) Barilla penne lisce or penne rigate
2 Tbsp vodka
1 C heavy cream
1 strip orange zest
salt, to taste
1/4 C basil leaves, slivered

Combine the olive oil, garlic and red pepper in a large skillet. Heat gently just until the garlic begins to sizzle, about 1 minute. Puree the tomatoes; add to the oil; cook, stirring, uncovered, 15 minutes.
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until firm to the bite, according to package directions. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup cold water to stop the cooking; drain.
Stir the drained pasta into the tomato mixture in the skillet. Sprinkle with the vodka; add the cream and orange zest. Cook, over medium heat, stirring, so that the pasta absorbs some of the sauce, about 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. Sprinkle with the basil leaves before serving.

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