Penne A’la Vodka (with Scallops)

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe. A few weeks ago we were celebrating Kent’s birthday, and I was trying to figure out what to make. We’d recently had steaks, so I didn’t want to make those again. I was wracking my brain. We love pasta, but rarely eat it. #carbs Anyway, I remembered something we haven’t had in a long time and B-I-N-G-O, I knew what we were having. Penne A’la Vodka.

Not only is this pasta dish easy, it’s as good as any version you’ll find in any Italian restaurant. Kent is a huge fan of scallops, so that’s what I decided to make with it. I was super excited that when I seared these, and they turned out perfectly. In the past, I’ve had a hard time making that happen. I used this method, and will from now on. I left out the butter, and I bought my scallops in the freezer section of Trader Joe’s.

Penne A'la Vodka

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 T. Butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 c. Vodka
1 c. Chicken Stock
1- 32oz. Can crushed tomatoes
Coarse Salt & Pepper
16 oz. Penne Pasta
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 c. fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn

Heat large skillet, add oil, butter, garlic & shallots.
Saute 3-5 minutes.
Add Vodka, reduce by half (2-3 minutes)
Add chicken stock & tomatoes, bring sauce to a boil and simmer 5-10 minutes
Season with salt and pepper.
While sauce simmers, cook pasta according to package directions.
Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a boil, turn down heat to keep warm.
Drain pasta and toss with sauce. Add scallops and top with basil. If desired, add shredded Parmesan cheese.

If serving only two people, reserve half the sauce before adding basil and freeze. Cook only half the pasta.

Shrimp can be substituted for scallops, or use half and half.

Fun story: I got this recipe from my neighbor, who got it from our other neighbor…so Brandi, if you’re reading this. Thanks friend!!! This Penne A’la Vodka is delicious and we love it!

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