When my wife and I were first married we received a Rachel Ray 30-minute meals cookbook. Neither one of us had really ever had to cook for anyone and at that time we needed all of the help that we could get. The problem that we had was, there were almost no recipes in the book that we really cared for, except for this one. The page is really easy to find as it is the only one that we open the book to and its covered with debris from having cooked from it so many times. Honestly, at this point we really do not even use it anymore.
One of the key components of this recipe is the vodka. We have used many different brands and find that for this one, cheaper is better. Two reasons, you can’t really taste the difference and why waste the good booze on it. There have been a couple times that we planned this meal thinking that we had our cooking vodka on hand only to find out that we only had something like Grey Goose or Belvedere on hand. Nothing like pouring $15 worth of Belvedere in a meal that should cost you about $5-6 total to make. We usually keep a bottle of Barton’s in stock just for this reason.
Another quick note, saute 3/4lb of chicken breast and throw it in at the end if you want to add some protein to the mix.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 shallots
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 28oz can tomato puree
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 12oz dried penne
- 20 basil leaves
- Boil water for pasta
- Heat olive oil and butter in deep skillet until butter is foamy
- Mince shallots and garlic and add to oil and butter and cook for 2 minutes
- Add vodka and reduce by half, about 2-3 minutes
- Add chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to a simmer
- Add pasta to salted boiling water and cook to al dente
- Add cream and bring back to a simmer
- Add cooked pasta to sauce
- Tear basil leaves and add to the pasta and sauce