Penne alla Vodka was one of the first recipes I ever made in my first apartment, around 5 years ago. Mind you, I wasn’t vegan at the time so I didn’t know about the wonders of cashew cream. But now I do and here we are.
This dish is simple, creamy, hearty, and delicious – what more could you want? So I’ll end the obligatory little recipe ramblings here.
Prep time: 5 minutes – Cook time: 50 minutes – Serves about 4
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1/2 a large yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 1 (28 oz) can of petite diced tomatoes (or crushed, but I like the texture the petite diced give)
- A generous pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Penne, cooked according to box instructions
- Fresh parsley or basil for serving (optional)
- Add the cashews to a blender along with the nutritional yeast and water, and blend until very smooth.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion in butter for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another 2 minutes until the onions are soft and slightly browned, and the mixture is very fragrant.
- Pour in the vodka and let cook for 5-10 minutes, until the alcohol has cooked off.
- Add the tomatoes, stir, and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes – you may need to lower the heat some.
- Stir in the cashew cream and cook for about 15 minutes, until the sauce is thick and creamy.
- Add a generous pinch of red pepper flakes, as well as salt and pepper to taste (I usually end up not needing any), and mix well.
- Serve over penne cooked according to box instructions, top with parsley or basil, and enjoy!