This Tweet Treat happens to feature yet another pasta dish. It also begins the same way most of my recipes/blog entries begin: “I needed to get rid of…so I decided to…”
In this case, I had to get rid of roasted red bell peppers, and I decided that I was craving penne alla vodka and wanted to attempt a vegan version.
Penne alla vodka is a rich, savory-sweet pasta dish with a sauce made of tomatoes, vodka, and heavy cream. The vodka really brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes. The alcohol evaporates as the sauce cooks, so you may want to make this a raw dish.
I put a twist on penne alla vodka by changing out all of the ingredients except for the vodka. The result was a tasty, bright colored sauce. You can view Lidia Bastianich’s classic version over at Epicurious. Lidia says she likes the sauce a little feisty, so she is generous with the crushed red pepper.
Roasted Red Pepper Vodka SauceI initially used 1/3 cup of vodka, but I think that was a bit too strong, so I lessened the amount here. You can lessen it even more if you like. You can also add lemon zest at the end to brighten up the flavors.
1/3 cup raw cashews
1 cup of roasted red bell peppers, pureed
1 garlic clove, minced
crushed hot red pepper
¼ cup vodka
salt & pepper
fresh basil, chiffonaded (optional)
- Soak the cashews in enough water to cover them in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta or whatever you’re going to use this sauce for.
- Drain and rinse the cashews. Cover them in water again and puree until smooth (I use the knockoff Magic Bullet from Bella Cucina).
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic & red peppers & cook until fragrant.
- Add pureed red peppers & vodka. Season with salt & pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in cashew cream & cook until heated through.
- Add basil & serve over your favorite pasta, veggies, beans, or faux meat or all of the above.