PENNE ALLA VODKA
(in her own words)
Bring large pot of salted water to boil for pasta.
Meanwhile, in a non-corrosive pan, melt 1 to 4 T. of butter. Add 1/3 c. vodka and ¼ tsp. hot red pepper flakes. Bring to boil, and boil for two minutes.
Drain one large can peeled Italian tomatoes. Blend or process briefly, but not to point of puree Add to pan with I tsp salt and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add 1 cup cream (I've used half and half, but heavy cream certainly makes it more luscious -- or ¼ c half and half and ¼ c. full cream.) Simmer another couple of minutes until sauce seems right consistency
Cook 1 lb. penne rigate (the ridged penne pick up the sauce better) -- preferably DeCecco or Barilla brand -- until just al dente. Drain, pour into serving bowl. Add sauce and 1/2 cup freshly grated parmiggiano. Mix lovingly and serve, along with more freshly grated cheese.
Double the recipe for 8 but I take out about 1/2 cups of cooked pasta before mixing with sauce and that seems the better amount. Still enough for seconds
Theoretically you can prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking. I usually make up the sauce early, without the cream, and reheat it with cream while pasta is cooking.