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Penne With Vodka Sauce

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  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan; freshly grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives; minced


  1. Drain, seed, and chop the tomatoes.
  2. Melt butter with oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and cook until almost no liquid remains in the pan, stirring frequently, about 25 minutes.
  5. Add cream, vodka, and red pepper and boil until thickened to sauce consistency, about 25 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
  7. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain well.
  8. Transfer to a large bowl. Bring sauce to a simmer. Pour over pasta and toss well.
  9. Sprinkle with Parmesan and chives and serve.