Monday, July 25, 2011

Dad's Vodka Penne

My father made a mean vodka penne.  Whenever the family got together, his vodka penne was always requested. Dad would stand at the stove for hours stirring the sauce as his grandchildren ripped off pieces of Italian bread to “dunk.” He’d yell at them to stop, but always with a smile on his face. Whenever he made the vodka sauce I'd have to buy two loaves of bread—one for dunking while cooking and one to hide for dinner. The day came when dad didn’t have the strength to stand over the stove.  He instructed me on how to make the vodka sauce, watching me every step of the way. When it was done, he was the one to dunk the bread.  He looked at me, smiled and proudly said, “You done good.” Nothing could have made me happier! I am now the official vodka penne maker, and when my kids rip off a piece of bread, dunk it and say, “Tastes just like grandpa's,” I know he’s smiling down on us.  — Lisa

This is an “all-day” cook, so make it on Sunday when most Italians have their gravy!

3 large shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 large cans of tomato sauce (it has to be sauce, not crushed tomatoes)
2 ½ turns of olive oil in a large pot
Quart of heavy cream
Good vodka (1 ½  shots)
Salt/pepper to taste

Heat olive oil on low heat
Sauté shallots until fragrant
Add garlic; sauté 3 minutes on medium heat

Add tomato sauce. Take one of the empty cans and fill halfway with water.  Swish the water in can and pour into each empty can, swishing around. When you completed all 5 cans, pour that into the large pot with tomato sauce.
Give it a good stir to mix the shallots, garlic and tomato sauce. 
Bring to a low boil before adding vodka. Mix well.

Add the heavy cream a little at a time until the sauce becomes a light red, almost pink color. (You may not use the entire quart.)

Lower heat, cover  and cook for 8 hours. Yes,  8 hours. Stir occasionally and dunk often! Or, you can do what Sophia does when she has her pop-pop's sauce...

1 comment:

  1. That is a GREAT video! Can't wait to make this - my family LOVES vodka penne!!! Keep the recipes and stories coming, I love CITK!!!