A vintage craving

When I close my eyes and imagine a vintage flavor that makes my mouth water I think of Penne alla Vodka. With a distinct and unforgettable taste, this dish is traditionally made with pasta, tomato sauce, heavy cream, vodka, bacon, grana padano cheese and a pinch of red pepper.

 

Penne alla Vodka | Vintage Italian Pasta

Penne alla Vodka | Vintage Italian Pasta

 

Origins of Penne alla Vodka

There are many stories and legends surrounding the history of this famous dish, some historians of the culinary arts claim it was invented at Dante, a restaurant in Bologna. Others recognize Luigi Franzese as the inventor of Penne alla Russa, so called for the Vodka addition to the tomato sauce. According to this version, the dish was prepared for the first time at the New York City restaurant Orsini.  However, no matter which of the stories you choose to believe, the fact is that Penne alla Vodka became an incredibly popular dish in Italy in the 1970s and 80s.

 

Sophia Loren cooking Italian pasta

Sophia Loren cooking Italian pasta

 

Penne alla Vodka | Vintage Italian Pasta

Penne alla Vodka | Vintage Italian Pasta

A classic of Italian cuisine

While most people no longer make Penne alla Vodka at home, it is still possible to eat a plate of this delicious dish in almost any Italian trattoria.  Often the waiter will serve the dish in a giant wheel of Grana Padano cheese, turned into a spectacular flambe on the table in front of you.

 

Penne alla Vodka | Vintage Italian Pasta

Penne alla Vodka | Vintage Italian Pasta

 

Want to cook it? It’s pretty simple, just follow our recipe to prepare the dish in the way it’s meant to be served!

 

Penne alla Vodka

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1-2 onions, minced
  • 1/2 cup of Vodka
  • 500 gr penne
  • 2 cans of tomato sauce
  • bacon
  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
  • sal and red crushed pepper as needed

 

Penne alla Vodka | Vintage Italian Pasta

Penne alla Vodka | Vintage Italian Pasta

 

  1. Put some pepper in the Vodka
  2. Put the pot on the stove and bring the salted water to boil
  3. Pour oil into the pan, add the onion and brown it
  4. Add becon and let it become crunchy
  5. Pour the Vodka and make it evaporate
  6. Add tomato sauce and heavy cream
  7. Cook pasta
  8. Drain pasta and put it in the pot with the sauce
  9. Sprinkle with Grana Padano

Enjoy!

 

Penne alla Vodka | Vintage Italian Pasta

Penne alla Vodka | Vintage Italian Pasta

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