Monday, 17 September 2012

Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola

Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, diced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 cup vodka
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound penne pasta
4 tablespoons fresh oregano
1 cup heavy cream or (to be healthier) fat-free half-and-half
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 375F.

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent.  Add the red pepper flakes and dried oregano and cook for 1 minute more. Add the vodka and continue cooking until the mixture is reduced by half.  Add tomatoes to pot.  Add 2 teaspoons salt and a pinch of black pepper. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and place it in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes. 

 This is what it'll look like, concentrated down into its essential crispy-edged nomminess.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. Drain and set aside.  Place the tomato mixture in a blender and puree in batches until the sauce is a smooth consistency.  Return to the pan.  Reheat the sauce on low heat, add 2 tablespoons fresh oregano and enough heavy cream to make the sauce a creamy consistency.  

Add salt and pepper to taste, and simmer a few more minutes.  Toss the pasta into the sauce and stir until coated.  Stir in Parmesan cheese. 

Serve with an additional sprinkle of Parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh oregano on each plate.

Adapted from The Amateur Gourmet.


  1. OMG!!!! That looks so good, I am starving now. But don't worry, i ate and my sugar is up. But I crave what you made!!!!

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