Heart Friendly Penne Alla Vodka

Catherine here!

As Stacy mentioned, here at Rolling Staircase we are spending February focusing on all things hearts. Today, I am going to share with you a delicious and heart healthy recipe for you to enjoy this month. If you were trying to think of something special for dinner this Valentine’s Day, I could not suggest this dish more!

This is a recipe I discovered in the cookbook Chloe’s Kitchen from the same chef whose Avocado Pesto Pasta I have raved about previously, Chloe Coscarelli. The reason I chose this recipe is because it replaces heavy cream (not so heart friendly) with cashew cream for an amazingly yummy vodka cream sauce. Growing up, my FAVORITE recipe was my mother’s “Vodka Pasta” recipe (I learned years later that most people call this “Penne alla Vodka”). In hopes of a finding a more healthful way to recreate my childhood favorite, I found this recipe. Here a link where you can find the recipe online: Penne alla Vodka (To find the recipe you need may need to click on the square that says “Spotlight Penne Alla Vodka”…sometimes the link directs you to a collage webpage of sorts)

To make this dish as heart healthy as possible, use whole-wheat penne pasta…yum! Also, if you were wondering about how well cashews can substitute for real heavy cream, have no fear! RAW cashews have no flavor of their own (note the RAW…do not try with roasted or you will be disappointed). Raw cashews are magical in this dish because they are simply a vessel for fat and creaminess (and deliciousness). In fact, cashew cream reduces in a pan even faster than heavy cream. So GO now and enjoy this amazing recipe!

Here are the ingredients (Serves 4-6):

  • 1lb penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for chiffonade garnish if you are feelin’ fancy
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ cup vodka (for anyone who does not drink alcohol, don’t worry the alcohol cooks out when heated…it is just for taste!)
  • ¼ cup RAW cashews
  • 1 cup water

For the full recipe, check out Chloe’s Kitchen from your local bookstore or clink the link above. Here is a picture from the last time I tried this recipe. Please ignore the horrible photo from my phone. Trust me, it was AMAZINGGGG!


This photo does not do this dish justice…now I am hungry!

 Thanks for stopping by! Have a lovely day 😀

About cat101111

I am a biomedical graduate student with a passion for health, food, and demonstrating God's love to all of His creatures.
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