Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Penne with Vodka Sauce

I use to work at an Italian restaurant called La Dolce Vita in Frankfort Illinois. They have the best Italian food I've ever had. If you think Olive Garden has good food, then you are seriously missing out. Unfortunately, I can't eat there anymore. My favorite recipe was cavatelli betolla. It was this bean-shaped noodle in a vodka, cream, and tomato sauce. I've tried several different vodka sauces from different restaurants but they don't even compare to how good this one is. I tried to replicate it and had a little luck. I can never find the noodle that they use which I believe adds to the dish so I had to settle on penne. This is a dish I would only make very occasionally and eat in moderation because it's definitely not too good for you.. but everyone has to treat themselves once in a while!

Serves: 4

1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 tsp rice flour
5 ounces GF tomato sauce (I used organic ragu)
1/4 cup vodka
3 tbsp heavy cream
3 tbsp grated Romano cheese
pepper, to taste
1 cup frozen spinach
2 cups GF penne

Prepare spinach according to package directions. I boiled mine in water for 3 minutes. Drain, set aside.

Cook penne according to directions.

In a sauce pan, melt butter over high heat and saute scallions until soft.  Stir in rice flour and vodka and let flame for 30 seconds. Add cream, tomato sauce, and cheese. Bring to boil then add spinach and simmer for another minute. Stir in pasta and sprinkle with cheese to serve.

Note: I made this dish just for me and saved the rest of the pasta for left overs. I've found that gluten-free pasta doesn't hold its form well once it's cooled off and stored over night. If you are only cooking for 1-2 people, I would recommend only making enough pasta for that night and reserving the sauce in a container. Leftovers would taste much better with freshly cooked GF pasta.

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