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Italian
No Cream-No Cry Penne alla Vodka

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 2
 

Recipe

The dirty little secret about Penne alia Vodka is not the vodka but the hefty amount of heavy cream. Vodka is colorless, odorless, and without much flavor--not really attributes of a superstar ingredient. It’s the combination of cream and tomato sauce that gives this dish its signature flavor. The traditional cream is swapped here for low-fat Greek yogurt.

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole wheat penne
  • 2 cups Rocco’s How Low Can You Go Low-Fat Marinara Sauce or store-bought low-fat marinara sauce
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • One 7-ounce container 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions, about 9 minutes; drain.

2. While the pasta is cooking, bring the marinara sauce and crushed red pepper to a simmer in a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Cook the sauce, stirring it occasionally with a heat-resistant rubber spatula, until it is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the saute pan from the heat.

3. Stir about ½ cup of the marinara sauce into the yogurt until smooth (this tempers it and prevents the yogurt from curdling). Then whisk the yogurt mixture back into the marinara sauce.

4. In a large serving bowl, toss the sauce with the drained penne and the basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the cheese on top, and serve.

Notes

Healthy Tips:

Whole-wheat pasta has a dense texture that makes it a little tougher than regular pasta. Some people like that chewiness; some don’t. If you’re in the latter category, overcook it a bit. Toward the end of the cooking time, keep testing it until it’s as tender as you like it.


© 2010 Spirit Media, LLC
 

Nutritional Information

Nutritional information is provided by the author.

Fat 4.8g
Calories 320
Protein 18g
Carbohydrates 55g
Cholesterol 11mg
Fiber 6g
Sodium 416mg

 

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  • Beemaloner

    01.19.12 Flag comment

    I don't care what you call it. It is delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  • rho-bear

    03.21.11 Flag comment

    I have to disagree with a comment you made.
    Although the vodka does not have any flavour itself, the ethanol in the vodka extracts flavours from the tomato that cannot be done with just water alone (the only major liquid present in tomatoes, cream etc.).
    I'm a chemist. Trust me on this.

    All you've done here is make a glorified rose-sauce. Sorry Joseph, you need the vodka to get that particular tangyness apparent in all other vodka sauces. Yes, there is cream, too. But, like I said, there is a difference between a rose sauce and a vodka sauce

 

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