tomato vodka penne

For a vegetarian, I don't eat much pasta, but when I do, I often go for this tomato vodka penne. It reheats well, and it makes a nice workday lunch!

2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 T chopped fresh parsley
28 oz whole canned tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 T tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1/4 t dried oregano
1/2 t salt
dash of sugar
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup evaporated milk (or heavy cream)
1 lb penne, cooked

Chop the tomatoes, reserve the juice. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and 1 T butter to melt. Add the carrot, celery, and onion; cook until tender. Add the garlic and parsley; cook 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is soft.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, oregano, salt, sugar, and vodka. Slowly simmer for 10 minutes, then stir in the milk. Bring to a simmer, stir in the basil, and simmer 20 - 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and blend until smooth (I use an immersion blender).

Stir in the reserved tomato juice and return to heat. Stir in 1 T butter until melted, and serve over penne. I used whole wheat pasta here, and often do.

This is the last you'll hear from me for a bit. My upcoming weekend is looking like this, and next week is looking like this. But after that, I'll have a week off to cook, sew, search the thrift stores, take Yoga classes, shoot beautiful photos of autumn in New England, and otherwise renew my frazzled spirit and exhausted body :)

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