Gluten Free Penne in Vodka Sauce

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Have you folks dined out and enjoyed “Penne in Vodka Sauce” ? If so, did you then purchase a jarred brand in the supermarket trying to recreate that experience? Fall short, did it?? Well, here’s a Gluten Free recipe for it and yes, you can enjoy it homemade!

One of the added ingredients that I use is a Gluten Free Prosciutto. Here in this area, Boar’s Head makes Gluten Free products. But, you MUST check whether the brands near you are G-F or not. That’s a must. No ifs, ands, or buts about it!

If that’s too pricey, ( by the way, I get 1 slice, ¼ in thick to use in this and it cost $2.00) you can always use 2 slices of bacon. But again, G-F.

Ok, here’s the quick & really easy recipe. Perhaps, make it for the family as a surprise.

Ingredients to serve 4:

  • 1 ½ cans Crushed Tomatoes ( That’s 40 to 42 oz.)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, diced
  • 2 tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Minced Prosciutto. I used 1/5 of a lb.
  • 1 ½ oz. Vodka
  • ½ pint Heavy Cream
  • 3 Basil Leaves, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 3 tbl Italian Grated Cheese- Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano, plus more for serving on top of each portion.
  • 12 oz. G-Free Penne. Barilla makes a terrific G-Free Pasta now! Cook separately then drain.


First, mince the Prosciutto ( or bacon) and the Garlic.
In a 2 quart saucepan, heat the Oil and then saute the prosciutto or bacon bits for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and saute for less than that, perhaps 30 seconds. Don’t brown the garlic.

Add the Tomatoes, Basil, S & P, and reduce heat to low.
Simmer with cover on, stirring every 5 minutes or so, for 30 minutes. Watch carefully, it has a tendency to stick to the bottom & burn, if left unattended.

After that initial 30 minutes, add the Vodka and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. (Alcohol burns off, and leaves only flavor.)

Now’s the time to cook the pasta, so everything is ready at the same time!

Lastly add the Cream and stir well to incorporate. Watch the sauce turn a lovely pink-tone.
Add the grated cheese, which will thicken it a bit and add more flavor.

When the Penne is cooked to “al dente”, drain it and pour this lovely sauce on top.
Serve with additional Italian Cheese on top of each plate, and watch ‘em feel like they’re in that Italian Restaurant all over again.

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