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Nick and Toni’s Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola

2009, Joseph Realmuto, All Rights Reserved

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4 to 5 servings


* 1/4 cup good olive oil
* 1 medium Spanish onion, chopped
* 3 cloves of garlic, diced
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
* 1 cup vodka
* 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled plum tomatoes
* Kosher salt
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 3/4 pound penne pasta
* 4 tablespoons fresh oregano
* 3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
* Grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large oven proof saute pan over medium heat, add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the red pepper flakes and dried oregano and cook for 1 minute more. Add the vodka and continue cooking until the mixture is reduced by half.

Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes through a sieve and crush them into the pan with your hands. Add 2 teaspoons salt and a pinch of black pepper. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and place it in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. Drain and set aside.

Place the tomato mixture in a blender and puree in batches until the sauce is a smooth consistency. Return to the pan.

Reheat the sauce, add 2 tablespoons fresh oregano and enough heavy cream to make the sauce a creamy consistency. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and simmer for 10 minutes. Toss the pasta into the sauce and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan. Serve with an additional sprinkle of Parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh oregano on each plate.

Printed from FoodNetwork.com on Wed Apr 07 2010

© 2010 Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved
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