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Ghoulicious Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola Pasta

I'm a pasta lover.  My husband craves meat and I crave pasta.  Recently, Shawn made us this fantastic dish called Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola. The recipe is an old Italian recipe, tried and true, served at Nick and Toni's in The Hampton's and was featured on Barefoot Contessa. 
The ingredients are all traditional Italian with the exception of Vodka (alcohol will cook out) which makes this so good it's scary!   I was hooked before I took the first bite.  Additionally, the sauce is orange and makes it perfect dish to serve this time of year.  The kids, each and every one, asked if we could have this as our Halloween dinner this year instead of chili, corn chowder or tortilla soup.  

Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola

About 1/4 cup olive oil
10 cloves garlic - diced (who said Vampires are allergic to garlic?)
1 medium-large onion - diced
1 T red pepper flakes (this gives a little heat, use less for a milder version)
1 T dried oregano

3-4 shots or about 1 cup of Vodka
2   28 oz cans peeled Roma tomatoes, drained (discard juice or save for another dish)
kosher salt 
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup whole cream

Combine first four ingredients and cook until onions are translucent, about 20 minutes.
Add Vodka, cook until reduced
Crush tomatoes and add to onion mixture.  Do not add the tomato juice.
Cover and bake for 1.5 hours at 375°

Your mixture will now look like something like this
Add a small handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and pour the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.  Return to pan.
Add 1 cup whole cream and stir to blend

Toss with Penne cooked al dente, top with more fresh parmesan and fresh oregano.
  Oh, and my carnivorous husband made this for us again a week later and added some crumbled sausage.  It was equally delicious, so don't fret you carnivores.

Practicing for Halloween serving, I spread a spider web lace tablecloth over the table with a giant Spider above.    Of course I just had to dish it up in a black transferware plate!

Linking up with
Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Foodie FridayFiner Things Friday, Funky Junk Interiors, and Ultimate Recipe Swap 
Food On Fridays, hosted by Ann Kroeker
Tasty Tuesday, hosted by Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Tatertots & Jello 
Harrigan Howdy 

 The Heritage Lace Spider Web tablecloth can be purchased at Priscillas Lace and Linens.  She carries about 800 different Heritage Lace products including lots of great Halloween linens I love this store!


  1. There is nothing better than penne with vodka sauce!

  2. I am now hungry! Now I want some of that great looking pasta!

  3. It looks really good, Nancy. You are such a good cook...Christine

  4. Would I dare try to reach past that monstrous spider to get a bite? Probably as delicious as that looks. Yum, and fun name and presentation.

  5. I am going to try this, it looks and sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing.


  6. Thanks so much for the recipe and for the link to the Heritage Linens. Cherry Kay

  7. If ever I make it out to South Hampton, I'm definitely going to eat at Nick and Toni's. My hubby would definitely want the sausage variation. Thanks for posting the recipe.


  8. I adore pasta and this looks yummy! And the spider web tablecloth is so fun!


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