Author Notes: I'd been making this traditional pasta dish with the vodka for years as one of my go-to weekday recipes, adjusting this recipe from Lidia Bastianich (http://www.epicurious.com...). One night I was cooking and realize we were out of vodka, but I continued without. No one noticed a difference. After I'd made it at least five times without vodka, I told my husband, and he was shocked. This is an easy-to-memorize recipe that appeals to children, and simple to make as mild or spicy as you like. —Michelle Kessler
tablespoons olive oil
teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
cloves garlic, peeled
14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
cup heavy cream
- Heat the oil on medium with the red pepper flakes. Cook the garlic in oil until golden.
- Pour the garlic into a blender with the tomatoes. Blend until a thick sauce.
- Cook the sauce on medium until slightly thickened. Add the cream and cook until hot.
- Toss with 1 pound penne, cooked to al dente. Serve with freshly grated parmesan.