On Monday afternoon, I began craving penne alla vodka. What I wasn’t craving, was the stomachache that consuming large amounts of heavy cream would leave me with. Not to be deterred, I looked up a recipe and decided to attempt a dairy- free version. Although it was not quite the same as the dairy-full version topped with parmesan cheese, my husband and I were pretty pleased with the results! Plus, the sauce is not only free of dairy- it is also vegan if you are into that sort of thing!
Vegan Penne alla Vodka Sauce
(Adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
1 Small Onion, diced
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Cup Vodka
1 Cup Plain Soy Creamer (or your choice of nondairy milk or plain nondairy creamer)
1 Jar Tomato Sauce (we used our homemade sauce- apparently using tomato puree will make your sauce come thicker- I’ll try that next time!)
Red Pepper Flakes
Penzey’s Shallot Pepper or regular Black Pepper
Saute your onion and garlic in olive oil on medium heat. When they get soft, remove your pan from the heat and add your vodka. Return your pan to medium heat and set a timer for three minutes, so that the vodka has time to reduce. This step is important because I saw people in the comments complaining about the sauce tasting too alcoholic. I am guessing that these folks did not allow the vodka to reduce enough, because I did not have the same complaint.
Once the vodka has cooked down a bit (you will be able to tell by looking at the pan), add the tomato sauce and mix to combine with the vodka. Simmer this mixture, and then add your nondairy creamer. Although the soy creamer was plain, I found that the sauce tasted a little sweet. To offset the sweetness, I added shallot pepper and a bunch of red pepper flakes for some heat. After about 10 minutes of simmering, the sauce is ready to be mixed into your pasta and enjoyed!
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! We’re excited to be spending lots of time with family this weekend. Stay warm and safe- I hear its supposed to snow or something;)