Happy Monday! I don’t know about you, but my weekend was the most productive it’s been in a looong time. I’ve cooked up + photographed a TON of new recipes, and Sydney and I made progress on the truck. One. Step. Closer. Wooohooo!
This pasta dish has been on my mind for a while now, and I wish I had created it sooner. You can probably tell because there isn’t many pasta dishes on my blog, but I’m not a big pasta person. Honestly, boiling pasta and waiting/constantly checking to see when the pasta is cooked just makes me impatient. Plus, I never know when it’s done. Like what is the perfect al dente and when is it too mushy?! So many questions I have for something so simple.
So, Penne Alla Vodka was probably one of the only Italian pasta dishes I loved so much before going vegan. It isn’t a boring marinara, and the creamy consistency was all I ever needed in a sauce. However, I never dared to make it myself, and being someone that doesn’t drink any alcohol, how does one even go about buying Vodka?! I kid you not when I tell you I spent far too much time in the liquor store (which was probably the second time in my life I ever entered one), and I didn’t know where to start. I eventually asked the guy working there what the best one to cook with was, and he luckily suggested one of the cheaper options.
Glad I stepped out of my comfort zone here and fiiiiiinally tested this out. And it came out perfect! From what I remember, I’d say it came out pretty darn spot on. Hope you enjoy!
OH! And I have another recipe to come soon that involves those cute bow tie noodles so stay tuned to more pasta goodness.
I N G R E D I E N T S:
1 pound of Penne Pasta (or pasta of choice!)
24 oz. jar of organic diced tomatoes*
3/4 cup of veggie broth (or water)
1/2 cup of Vodka
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes
1 tsp of nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt + Pepper to taste!
1/2 cup of peas (optional)
Handful of fresh basil + Vegan Parm (both optional but highly recommended!)
PREP: Begin by soaking your cashews. Once soaked, toss in a high speed blender with 1/2 cup of water + the nutritional yeast. Blend until creamy + smooth! Set aside. Also, cook the pasta and set aside.
COOK!: In a large saute pan or sauce pan, add a small splash of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, toss in the onions + garlic with a pinch of salt + red pepper flakes. Cook until translucent and soft. Then, carefully pour in the vodka and increase heat to medium high. Cook until reduced by half - only a few minutes here! Then, pour in the tomatoes plus the veggie broth with a generous bit of salt and pepper. Once it begins to bubble, reduce to low and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
THE PERFECT SAUCE: After your sauce has been simmering, pour in your creamy cashew sauce and mix well to combine. The color here is beautiiiiful. If you prefer a smooth vodka sauce, use an immersion hand blender and blend until smooth or desired consistency. Add the peas, basil, fresh grated vegan parm, and adjust to taste. Kill the heat + toss with zee pasta. NOW, enjoy this perfection pasta!
*Notes: If you know me, you know I get freaked out by tomatoes in tin cans. I know they’re technically fine, but something about acidic tomatoes sitting in metal just seems off. So, I picked up these diced tomatoes in a glass jar which only contains tomatoes, puree, oil, and salt. Since I haven’t tested with canned tomatoes, you may need to adjust the salt level and liquid, but I’m assuming not by too much!