I don’t remember the first time I ever had penne alla vodka, but I do know it was something that just always was. It’s not a dish I grew up eating at home, but rather something that appeared at sweet sixteens, the pasta course at weddings and at just about every graduation party.
While it’s unlikely it has any effect on one’s BAC, I think part of the appeal of penne alla vodka was that it was a way of legally ingesting a to the was otherwise taboo for someone underage. I haven’t had it in years, if not (at least) a decade until I was in New York over the holidays and it was the pasta course at a baby shower. I scarpetta’d every last drop of the creamy, flavorful sauce, and have been thinking about it fondly ever since.
So, naturally, I couldn’t help preparing some at home to not only keep up with my cooking commitment but to also quell my craving. Yet, I should tell you, it took me three times to get it right. The first time, I’m not quite sure what happened…I might have been too heavy-handed with the tomato paste? Its uber tartness wound up dominating every bite and it wasn’t pleasing on the palate. The second time, I let the tomato paste cook just a tad bit too long (or perhaps I left it unstirred for a tad bit too long?) and it stuck a to the bottom of the pan a little longer than it should have, causing a good part of it to burn. When I added the cream, the sauce took on more of a terracotta hue instead of the typical orange.
The third time was indeed the charm and I’m hoping it says that way for each subsequent attempt. Of course, I turned to Bon Appetit for a recipe! The plate is from Funky TableFunky Table…I have a think for magnetic poetry.