Penne Alla Vodka (from Cooks Illustrated, November 2006</a>
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 small onion, minced (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/3 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound penne pasta
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
Granted Parmeasan cheese, for serving
1) Puree half of tomatoes in food processor until smooth. Dice remaining tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces, discarding cores. Combine pureed and diced tomatoes in liquid measuring cup (you should have about 1 2/3 cups) Add reserved liquid to equal 2 cups.
2) Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are light golden around edges, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and pepper flackes; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds
3) Stir in tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Remove pan from heat and add vodka. Return pan to medium-high heat and simmer briskly until alcohol flavor is cooked off, 8 to 10 minutes; stir frequently and lower heat to medium if simmering becomes too vigorous. Stir in cream and cook until hot about 1 minute.
4) Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta. Cook until just shy of al dente, then drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water, and transfer pasta back to Dutch oven. Add sauce to pasta and toss over medium heat until pasta absorbs some of sauce, 1 to 2 minutes, adding reserved cooking water if sauce is too thick. Stir in basil and adjust seasoning with salt. Divide among pasta bowls and serve immediately, passing Parmesan seperately.
Note: Even if it looks like there is a lot of sauce it will thicken up and the pasta will seem almost dry within 1/2 an hour after it gets cold - so pack up any leftovers quickly and don't be surprised when the pasta soaks up all the sauce.
aluminmug sorry, but I'm never making this for you. It needs the red pepper flakes so you won't like it.