Penne a la Vodka

Is it winter break yet...?


One of the best parts of being a teacher is the lovely two week break in December--it's the perfect time to catch up on sleep, bake some Christmas cookies, waste time on Pinterest (let's be friends!), and annoy my husband while he works from home in our office. Oh joy. :)

I have to admit, I have been so incredibly busy at school preparing for our winter music performances lately that I literally have not cooked in days. Unless you count a salad that I made for our small group the other night, but that didn't involve anything other than washing and cutting...


This festive-looking pasta was dinner a few weeks ago and may be about the only thing that comes out of this kitchen from now until Christmas Eve. Super easy, super tasty, and almost everything is already stocked in my fridge. Maybe I could even get Husband to make it for me!

Hope you have a great week, see you after all of the performance craziness!


Penne a la Vodka
Slightly adapted from Rachel Ray

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 cup vodka
1 cup chicken stock
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (32 ounces)
16 ounces penne pasta
1/3 cup heavy cream, or more if you like it creamier
One handful fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Cook shallots slowly for about 5 minutes until soft and sweet. Add vodka and reduce by about half, then add chicken stock and tomatoes. Using a wooden spoon, crush tomatoes against the side of the pan to break up a bit. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring sauce to a boil and simmer while pasta cooks.

Once pasta is ready, stir in cream. Wait until sauce returns to bubbling and remove it from the heat. Serve over pasta with basil on top.