Creamy Sausage Penne alla Vodka

These types of recipes are great to have as they are easy but oh so yummy. This pasta is creamy, cheesy and delicious. I made it for the entire family, but left out the vodka for my daughter. Trust me when I say, do not leave out the vodka for yourself! It really brings out the taste of the tomato sauce and adds great flavor. You can make a large batch and freeze extra portions for later.

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This recipe serves 4

Ingredients

450g sausage meat (about 6 sausages, skin removed)

300g penne

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

500g tomato passata

400g can chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 cup vodka

1 teaspoon dried sage

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

1/3 cup fresh cream

1 cup grated mozzarella

250g fresh spinach

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt

Black pepper

Extra

Fresh basil

1/2 cup pasta water

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook the onions until translucent, add the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant. Add the sausage meat and use a wooden spoon to break up the meat while cooking. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes until well mixed. Pour in the vodka; when almost evaporated add the tomato passata, chopped tomatoes and all the herbs/spices (expect salt and pepper). Cover, turn the heat to low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the penne according to the instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining. 
  3. Taste the sauce and season with salt and lots of black pepper to taste. Add the fresh cream and allow to simmer, uncovered, until the sauce has thickened (about 10 minutes). 
  4. Add the spinach to the sauce and stir until wilted. Lastly, add the cheese and pasta and stir to combine. You can pour in some pasta water to loosen the sauce. 
  5. Serve with some fresh basil. Enjoy! 

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