Penne alla Vecchia Bettola (translation: penne with vodka or tavern pasta) [project #279]

vecchia

Penne all Vecchia Bettola

Total Time: 2 hours, 1 ½ is oven cooking

Skill Level: Easy Peasy. Budget: $$. Serves: 4

Vecchia Bettola translates to Old Tavern in Italian. This is a traditional Vodka Sauce that a recognizable bright orange colour and has a fantastic full flavour that is more tangy than traditional tomato sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. good olive oil
  • 2 1/2 c. chopped Spanish onion, 1 large
  • 1 tbsp. (3 cloves) garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 c. vodka
  • 2 28oz. cans whole peeled or diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 lb. penne
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves, plus extra for serving
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan, plus extra for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 ˚F. Heat oil in a large ovenproof sauté pan over md. heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the red pepper flakes and dried oregano and cook for 1 more minute. Add the vodka and simmer for 5-7 minutes until the mixture is reduced by half. Using clean hands, crush each tomato into the pan. Add 2 tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid, place in the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tbsp. of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
  3. Using an immersion blender and purée until smooth. Return the tomato mixture to the sauté pan. Add the oregano, milk, salt and pepper and simmer covered partially for 10 minutes. Add the pasta to the sauce and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in 1/2 c. of the Parmesan cheese and serve hot sprinkled with extra Parmesan and fresh oregano.

Notes:

From Ina Garten’s Foolproof Book

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