The pasta is amazing, and even better, it's really easy to make. The sauce cooks up in less time than it takes the water for the pasta to boil and the pasta to cook, so start the pasta first and then the sauce. If you don't time it perfectly, that's fine--you can either turn off the heat under the sauce and then reheat with the pasta once that's cooked, or hold the pasta in your collander (not in the water as you don't want it to overcook) while you wait for the sauce to finish. This makes a great meal with a simple salad and some good bread.
Campanelle with Vodka Sauce (from The Pioneer Woman Cooks, original recipe here)
1 pound campanelle pasta (or another favorite pasta)
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup vodka
1 can tomato puree (15 ounces)
1 cup heavy cream
A generous pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to serve
1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the onions and garlic. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes, until nicely softened.
3. Pour in the vodka. Stir and cook for three minutes until slightly reduced. Add the tomato puree and stir to combine.
4. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the heavy cream. Allow to the sauce simmer, being very careful not to overheat. Stir in red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.
5. Add cooked pasta to the sauce, tossing to combine. Splash in a little water if the sauce is too thick. Make sure everything is warmed through, and then serve with more grated Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.
Be sure to check out some other delicious pasta recipes at Once Upon a Feast in this week's Presto Pasta Nights round-up, which will be posted this Friday.