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Penne alla vodka aux tomates fraîches et basilic

Penne alla vodka with fresh tomatoes and basil

Penne alla Vodka with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil are rich, creamy and so flavorful!

 The vodka sauce is made with olive oil , plenty of fresh cherry tomatoes, lots of garlic and just a touch of crushed red pepper flakes - plus vodka, cream and tons of fresh basilic ! This restaurant quality penne alla vodka recipe is sure to become a family favorite!

Penne with fresh tomato vodka sauce

But when it comes to vodka sauce...I never really got the hype. I've always found it way too creamy (hello, stomach ache), a bit bland (such a sin), and if I'm being completely honest, boring (pasta should never be boring)!
The vodka really has no flavor , so it's no surprise that it's some kind of siesta party. Especially since most recipes are literally a few cloves of crushed tomatoes with garlic, and vodka. Which should be a crime for the amount of saturated fat it contains! If I splurge with cream sauce it tastes better splurge lol.
Till today ! Because I made it my mission to come up with a version that was not too rich, extremely quick and super tasty that I could enjoy and of course share with you!

penne vodka

Let's talk tomatoes!!!

The better your tomatoes, the better this recipe will be! That's why, if possible, I suggest using cherry tomatoes from your local farmer's market. But at the very least, make sure they're juicy and fresh ! If your tomatoes are very large, I suggest you cut them in half. This will help them cook quickly and release more of their delicious juices.

How to cook pasta al dente?

You're going to want to cook your pasta al dente, which means cooking it until it's soft enough to eat, but it's still a little firm in texture . I use DeLallo brand penne pasta and it's ready in exactly 8 minutes.
Here's what I do: bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a teaspoon of salt, then add the pasta to the pasta water and cook for 7-8 minutes. Taste a noodle, and if it's tender but still firm to bite into, it's ready to go! But instead of straining it, I encourage you to use a slotted spoon to transfer the penne pasta directly into the vodka sauce. This will allow some of that delicious salty pasta water to incorporate into the sauce.

Do you have a gas stove? Read it!!!

If you have a gas stove, please remove your pan from the heat when adding the vodka. Or be very careful, because vodka is alcohol, which is extremely flammable ! So I suggest turning off the heat, removing the pan from the stove, then adding the vodka. Prevention is better than cure !

PS I don't follow my own advice at all and add it straight to the stove, but I cook for a living and have been trained in working with flames etc. Please be careful and use your best judgement!!!

Preparing the sauce and cooking the pasta should take less than 25 minutes! And no need to break out your food processor to beat the tomatoes like many vodka sauce recipes require! Instead, we embrace fresh chunky sauce!

Healthy, easy and quick, this recipe is perfect for filling your Lunch Box!

Choose an insulated lunch box, or use an ice pack to keep the lunch box cool. If you are looking for insulated lunch boxes, do not hesitate to discover our insulated lunch box .

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Serve with a pinch of grated parmesan. extra basil, and a bottle of wine, and enjoy!!!

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