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Penne alla Vodka

Made with sweet Italian sausage, ground beef, a fragrant blend of herbs and a healthy pour of vodka and cream, this Penne alla Vodka gets a little kick of nutrition and color from the addition of fresh kale. Made with sweet Italian sausage, ground beef, a fragrant blend of herbs and a healthy pour of vodka and cream, this Penne alla Vodka gets a little kick of nutrition and color from the addition of fresh kale.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1/2 large white onion diced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups fresh kale chopped
  • 1 pound penne pasta cooked al dente

Instructions

  • Cook penne pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
    In a large stockpot, over medium heat, combine the ground beef and Italian sausage. Cook until the meat is brown and no pink remains. Then, add the diced onions and minced garlic. Stir and cook until onions have softened and the garlic is fragrant—about 5 minutes.
    Next, add salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme and fennel seeds. Stir to combine and then add the balsamic vinegar and vodka. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 3-5 minutes until the vodka is reduced by half.
    Reduce the heat to low and add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, fresh basil and parsley. Stir until well incorporated, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and let the sauce cook for 20-30 minutes.
    When the time has elapsed, uncover and then pour the heavy cream into the sauce. Stir and then add the parmesan cheese and chopped kale. Carefully fold the kale into the sauce and let cook for 5 minutes until wilted. Add the cooked penne to the sauce and gently stir to coat all of the pasta evenly.
    To serve, spoon the warm pasta onto plates, garnish with additional grated parmesan and serve with warm crusty bread. Enjoy.