- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium Spanish onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 cup vodka
- 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled plum tomatoes (can also use crushed tomatoes)
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 4 tbs fresh oregano
- 3/4 to 1 cup cashew cream (1/2 cup raw cashews + 1/2 cup water blended in a blender until smooth)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (plus more to top pasta)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Heat the olive oil in a large oven-proof 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 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 until the sauce is a smooth consistency. Return to the pan.
- Reheat the sauce, add 2 tablespoons fresh oregano and enough 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 little fresh oregano on each plate.
Variations & Notes:
- The recipe was originally an Ina Garten recipe but was modified a little.
- Watch how to make the recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/nick-and-tonis-penne-alla-vecchia-bettola-recipe