Copy Desk Cookoff: Penne Alla Lotsa Vodka

One of the members of our Copy Desk shares their culinary chops with you. Bon appetit! 

Ever had Italian food? Me neither. I’ve eaten at Italian restaurants that served recipes from the old country but, since I’ve never been to Italy, I’ve never eaten real Italian food.

Of all the dishes I’ve eaten in all the restaurants I’ve visited, my favorite is Penne Alla Vodka. It is a simple dish of penne pasta mixed with a vodka-based sauce and offers you the opportunity to add just about any protein or veggie and still have a great tasting plate.

I worked in an Italian restaurant/pizzeria, learned the basic way to make this fantastic dish and will now share it with you.

First thing is to put up one pot of water to boil for your pasta and another to pour on the head of the first person who says they don’t like their dinner. Next is to make the sauce.

Get a saucepan and place it on the stove on medium to low heat. Add a tiny drizzle of olive oil in the pan to start heating. Drizzle not foshizzle but for real, if you put too much it’ll taste like that stuff in that white bowl in the room with the shower. Put 1/8 of a cup of chopped onions in the oil and sprinkle some dried parsley. Let the onions cook for a few minutes until they are as see through as dirty glass.

Now the exciting part: the vodka. Start off with a fifth, then take some shots. You take these shots because you only need one for the recipe and if you accidently pour the whole bottle in the pan you might burn your house down. So … shots, shots, shots.

But seriously, don’t burn down the house. Remove the pan from the stove before adding the vodka. Thirty seconds after adding the vodka add ½ cup of tomato sauce and 2 cups of heavy cream. Stir the sauce and let it sit on the stove until it is the proper thickness, the pasta is done or you just get so damn hungry you can’t wait any more.

Then strain the pasta, mix it in with the sauce and serve to all those deserving of this pristine and delicious meal.