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Vodka Sauce Rigatoni

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Serve.
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Or bake it with cheese on top.

Pasta Alla Vecchia Bettola

Source: The Barefoot Contessa’s Foolproof

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 cup vodka
28-ounces cans peeled tomatoes ( I substituted some homemade stewed tomatoes from my garden)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound penne pasta or whatever shape you like
4 tablespoons fresh oregano/basil
1/4-1 cup heavy cream
grated Parmigiano or Pecorino

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large oven proof sauté pan over medium heat, add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the red pepper flakes and dried oregano and cook for 1 minute more. Add the vodka and continue cooking until the mixture is reduced by half, about 5 to 7 minutes more.

3. Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes through a sieve.  Add 2 teaspoons salt and a pinch of black pepper. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and place it in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. Drain and set aside.

5. Place the tomato mixture in a blender or food processor and purée in batches until the sauce is a smooth consistency. Place potholders or dishtowels around the handles of your pot to prevent burning your hands in the next step. Return sauce to the pan.

6. Reheat the sauce, add 2 tablespoons fresh oregano and enough heavy cream to make the sauce a creamy consistency — start with a quarter cup; taste; add more as necessary. Add salt (if necessary) and pepper, to taste, and simmer for 10 minutes. Toss the pasta into the sauce and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in a generous handful of grated cheese. Serve with an additional sprinkle of cheese and a sprinkle of fresh oregano (if using) on each plate. I topped with some asiago and speck.

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