Italian food is one of the most popular cuisines in the United States. Not only is Italian food a classic comfort food option, but there are so many different dishes and something to suit everyone's palate.
Pasta is one of Italy's most famous dishes and although you can find it on many menus in restaurants across the country, you can also make delicious pasta at home. With the right homemade ingredients, you can create a culinary experience that transports you and your family to the Italian countryside.
Penne alla vodka is a fun and easy recipe you can make at home. From handmade penne pasta to essential herbs, we've got everything you need to make the ultimate pasta.
Stay with us for six tips to elevate your penne alla vodka dish and where to find the best ingredients.
- Pick a Quality Tomato Sauce
- Use Handmade Italian Pasta
- Select a Rich Cream for Your Tomato Sauce
- Incorporate Extra Protein
- Don't Forget Your Fresh Herbs
- Top It With Parmesan
- How to make Penne Alla Vodka
- The Perfect Penne Pasta for Italian Food at Home
Pick a Quality Tomato Sauce
One of the most important elements of any pasta dish is the tomato sauce. It is the heart of the recipe that brings all of the other ingredients together.
You don't even have to go through the trouble of preparing one from scratch. You can buy quality homemade sauces, full of delicious ingredients like vine-ripened tomatoes, sweet onions, and hints of pepper flakes. As the name implies, you will need to use vodka in your tomato sauce to give it that rich texture that is characteristic of penne alla vodka.
Cooking the sauce and the vodka down allows the alcohol to evaporate out of the sauce - so don't worry about it having a boozy effect!
If you're preparing to make a penne alla vodka recipe, Dagostino has a selection of delicious tomato sauces to elevate your dish.
Use Handmade Italian Pasta
Another key ingredient for the best penne alla vodka recipe is the perfect penne pasta.
The rich flavor of gourmet penne alla vodka sauce requires a hearty pasta type to boot. Penne comes in a tube shape with ridges along the side. It is a great option for meat-based sauces and pesto pasta.
Dagostino offers a beautiful, handmade penne rigate that is perfect for your penne alla vodka. Our penne pasta is air-dried in wooden cellars with a flavor inspired by Creole-Italian heritage. It is a unique fusion of flavors that has its roots in Italy but has evolved in Louisiana.
Select a Rich Cream for Your Tomato Sauce
The right cream sauce will make or break your penne alla vodka. It might be tempting to go for a lighter cream or one with less fat content, but it won't be the same.
Heavy cream is what gives this dish its creamy texture and heavenly flavor. Don't be afraid to splurge a little bit on this dish, otherwise, you will not get the flavor that you want.
Additionally, if you opt for penne alla vodka recipes with lighter cream, be aware that it can make the dish look unappetizing. Using milk or half and half could separate the tomatoes and give the sauce a curdled look.
Go for the heavy cream and knock your sauce out of the park!
Incorporate Extra Protein
One of the best recipes for this pasta is penne alla vodka with chicken. Adding in a protein element not only gives this pasta more flavor and nutrition, but it also amps up the texture.
You want to dice up chicken breasts and cook them separately before adding in the sauce. Make sure you season the chicken and let it grill thoroughly before you add it to your pasta.
There are also other tasty protein options that work well with this pasta. You can try cured Italian hams like pancetta or prosciutto. These will add another savory element.
Don't Forget Your Fresh Herbs
Using herbs is essential throughout the cooking process. For this recipe, you can use fresh oregano, or fresh basil (or both!). These two herbs are staples in Italian cuisine so you can never really go wrong with using them.
You can chop it up into the sauce or even sprinkle some on top once the dish is prepared. These will give your dish a heightened flavor and aroma.
Top It With Parmesan
As they say, you can never have too much parmesan on your pasta. For this recipe, you want to invest in a quality block of parmesan and shave it over your pasta dish once it is ready.
Freshness is one of the most important parts of this step. Don't buy parmesan cheese that has already been shaved down or that comes in a shaker.
You can also make a baked penne alla vodka where you put parmesan on the pasta dish and place it in the oven. This allows the cheese to melt over the pasta for a delicious twist on this classic dish.
How to Make Penne Alla Vodka
Now that you know what ingredients are essential in this famous Italian pasta, we can start cooking! Here are step-by-step instructions to make the best penne alla vodka pasta:
- Use a pan to saute garlic, onions, and diced chicken breast (or your preferred protein)
- Add Dagostino tomato sauce and saute before adding vodka and cream
- Bring a pot of water to boil and season it with salt
- Add in Dagostino penne rigate to boiling water
- Cook the pasta al dente or to your preferred taste
- Strain the pasta and mix into the pan with tomato sauce
- Stir and allow the sauce to coat the pasta
- Top with fresh basil and shaved parmesan cheese
This is a simple and fun recipe to prepare any night of the week. Quality ingredients will help elevate this gourmet dish.
The Perfect Penne Pasta for Italian Food at Home
Preparing a gourmet Italian dish at home is easier than you think. With the right guidance and the right ride experience, you can make penne alla vodka in your kitchen. Remember to use quality tomato sauce, handmade penne pasta, full-fat cream, extra protein, fresh herbs, and parmesan.
This dish will be a guaranteed hit in your household!
Visit our website for more quality ingredients and exquisite gift boxes full of pasta-making essentials.