Penne alla vodka does not sound like food for children but they sure do love it...and the alcohol in the vodka cooks off before it is served. I like to make it with bacon...preferably good quality thickly sliced bacon or pancetta. I have also started making my pasta recipes with a pound and a half of pasta since the kids love to take any leftovers in their school lunch.
3/4 pound of bacon, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 26 ounce containers of pureed or chopped tomatoes (I like to use the Pomi boxed tomatoes, 1 chopped and 1 pureed)
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds penne (I like to use whole wheat)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In the meantime saute the bacon in a large skillet. When the bacon is cooked (but not crisp) pour off most of the bacon fat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until translucent. Add the tomatoes, vodka, and cream and simmer. Add salt and pasta to boiling water and cook while the sauce simmers. When the pasta is al dente drain in a colander. Add parsely to sauce and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste. Combine pasta and sauce and serve topped with parmesan cheese.