This recipe stems from a Weight Watchers recipe that I found online. My mom has been into Weight Watchers for a while so I got used to figuring out the points of my main dishes. I think this one was round 7 or so. When I first made it I loved it, but figured I could change it a bit so you could have more sauce with fewer calories… and I was right! I have worked my healthifying magic once again, and even on an already healthy Weight Watchers recipe! Don’t worry, this is amazing and will blow your socks off. My boyfriend LOVES this dish! And what’s not to like… You have pasta, heavy cream, wodka (ode to my German roommate in New Zealand 🙂 ) and fresh basil.
To healthify the recipe I used more tomato paste to make the base of the sauce, the same amount of heavy cream, but added milk to extend the sauce, and more shallots to semi bulk it up a bit. This would be great to make the sauce and noodles separately and then combine them when you want to eat it. My problem is I work 5:30-10 a lot during the week and every other weekend so I barely get time to eat with my man. Often times I make the meal, package it up (aka add the pasta and sauce together then put in Tupperware in the fridge) and take it to work where I have to f**king microwave it… NOT ideal and NOT fresh. Also, when you refrigerate it the sauce soaks into the pasta and you are left with, seemingly, less sauce so give my suggestion a try! Just measure our how much sauce and pasta you make and divide by how many servings you want (this recipe makes 8 servings, 1 cup each… I’m not sure how many cups of sauce of noodles are separately).
By the way… yes I have noticed that the majority of my main dish posts have been pasta. Hope you like pasta and carbs!
12 oz SmartTaste Penne
1 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp shallots (I used 2, but you can use more if you want), I love using shallots because they are a bit milder and very delicate tasting
2 medium garlic cloves
6 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup skim milk (you could probably just get 1/2 and 1/2 or fat-free 1/2 and 1/2)
1 tsp salt (or more… definitely more)
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp parsley
Fresh basil for garnish (a must!)
Chop your shallots, garlic and parsley (get the chopping out of the way). Cook your pasta according to directions.
Add the butter to a large skillet (medium temp/flame) and saute shallots and garlic for 3-5 minutes NOT burning them.
Add the parsley, salt and pepper, and tomato paste and stir until everything is combined… like this:
Cook this for about five minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Here comes the good part: wodka:
Add the wodka, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the little yum yums detached from it and cook for about 5 minutes to release some of the wodka flavor. I will note that not all of the wodka will be evaporated, but that’s a good thing. The flavor it brings to the dish is amazing and I mean it IS Penne with Vodka Sauce so…
Add the cream and milk to the mix, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes (these times are estimates, go by how you feel). This is what it should look like:
Now all you need to do is add the pasta and top with basil! You can do this dish-by-dish or do it all and have left-overs (when you heat it up add a bit more milk/cream and you’re good to go!).
Now for the nutrition information… this dish serves 8, 1 cup each!
Sodium: 422 mg
Healthy food doesn’t need to be bland or boring! I’m bringing you healthy dishes that excite your palate.