Friday, January 25, 2013

Penne alla Vodka

Penne alla Vodka with the Best Garlic Bread in the World!

This recipe is straight out of one of our favorite cookbooks, Choe's Kitchen.

1 pound penne
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, plus extra for chiffonade garnish (to cut an herb or vegetable in chiffonade, first stack the leaves as evenly as you can.  Roll the stack tightly so it resembles a cigar.  Slice the roll crosswise into very thin slices, and pull apart the slices into strips.)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup vodka  (Note from Kris: I just purchased one of those tiny little airplane sized bottles of vodka.)
1/4 cup raw cashews (If you are not using a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, soak the cashews overnight or boil them for 10 minutes and drain.)
1 cup water

Bring large pot of heavily salted water to a boil.  Add penne and cook according to package.  Drain and return to pot.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add garlic an cook about 1 minute.  Stir in crushed tomatoes and basil.  Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine cashews and water in a blender.  Process on high until very smooth, about 2 minutes.  Stir cashew cream into the tomato sauce and turn off heat.  Adjust seasoning to taste and toss with hot pasta.  Garnish with basil and serve immediately.

The Best Garlic Bread in the World! recipe:

1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 baguette
Dried or fresh parsley for garnish

Preheat the oven to broil.

Combine margarine, nutritional yeast, and garlic in a small microwave-safe bowl or sauce pan.  Heat over low heat until the margarine is melted.  Stir until combined.

Slice the baguette in half horizontally and place each half, cut side up, on a baking sheet.  Spread the garlic mixture over each half.  You may not need to use all of the garlic mixture.  You can refrigerate or freeze any leftover garlic mixtures for another use.  Sprinkle parsley over each half and broil for about a minute or two, checking very frequently until lightly browned.  Keep your eyes on the garlic bread, it can burn very quickly!

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