Vegan Penne alla Vodka

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.

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Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 50 minutes Serves about 4

Ingredients:

  • 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)
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Instructions:

  1. Add the cashews to a blender along with the nutritional yeast and water, and blend until very smooth.
  2. 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.
  3. Pour in the vodka and let cook for 5-10 minutes, until the alcohol has cooked off.
  4. Add the tomatoes, stir, and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes – you may need to lower the heat some.
  5. Stir in the cashew cream and cook for about 15 minutes, until the sauce is thick and creamy.
  6. 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.
  7. Serve over penne cooked according to box instructions, top with parsley or basil, and enjoy!

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