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Nick And Toni's Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola

From the Food Network


  • ¼ c good olive oil
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • ½ tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 c vodka
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled plum tomatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lbs penne pasta
  • 2 c heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • Grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, add the onions and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes until translucent. Add the red pepper flakes, dried oregano and vodka, and continue cooking until the mixture is reduced by half.

  3. Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes through a sieve, crush them with your hands, and place them in a 5 quart ovenproof pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions to the tomatoes and cover with a tight lid. Place the pot in the oven and cook for 1 ½ hours. Remove the pot from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. Set aside.

  5. Place the tomato mixture in a blender and puree in batches until the sauce is a smooth consistency, and return to the pot.

  6. Reheat the tomato sauce and add the heavy cream, fresh oregano and salt, to taste, and simmer for 5 minutes. Toss the sauce with the pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, to taste. Serve.

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