Cooking with Gas | Penne alla Vodka

Cooking with Gas | Penne alla Vodka
My hands always look like this–the dry skin, not the bird!

Considering how I grew up on this dish, you might wonder why I needed a recipe.
Rules are nice, sometimes. As my high school Honors Biology teacher said, “Rules were meant to be followed.”
‘Cept when veganising and deglutinising recipes. Then rules are meant to be broken and rebuilt from their component parts into new arrangements. Kind of like proteins/amino acids.
Penne alla Vodka
Modified from Ree Drummond
1 pound GF penne pasta (I used brown rice rotelle and lasagne since I had kind of old boxes of each)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, grated
dash sea salt
1 cup vodka (my mom used Stolichnaya; I used Luksusowa, a potato vodka, because I’m not taking chances with grain-based alcohol.
1 14- or 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (I went for the 14 but the 28 would be better)
1 16-ounce bag frozen peas, slightly defrosted (optional)
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
cayenne to taste (for lack of red pepper flakes)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sautee with a pinch of salt (and maybe a splash of water) until softened and barely translucent, about 7 minutes.  If using a gas stove, remove the pan from the heat and add the vodka.  Bring to a boil and cook on high until bubbly and reduced, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and stir well.  Add the peas and cook until mostly defrosted.  Add the coconut milk and cook for an additional minute. Add the pasta and stir to incorporate and heat through. Turn off the heat and add the spices to your liking.
There’s some hommos under there since the dish has very little protein sans cheese. I added the peas because I really wanted fettucini carbonara, but, alas, no liquid smoke nor tempeh to make vegan bacon. Confession: salty, preserved flesh (i.e., prosciutto, smoked salmon, jerky) is the only kind of preparation of animal protein I ever think, “Hmm, I miss that,” as a vegan. Probably ’cause my Italian ancestors ate pancetta, et cetera. The smell of pork roll/Taylor ham makes me incredibly nostalgic as my grandparents always have it for special brunches.
Parting shots:
I began a sourdough starter on Monday: teff, water, apple peel, and cabbage leaves. Recipe’s from Jennifer Katzinger, Gluten-Free & Vegan Bread.
I made veggie burgers that didn’t fall apart! These are spicy black bean, sweet potato, quinoa burgers from What the hell do vegans eat?
The starter grew.
There was Japanese rice bread with some desiccated defrosted brown rice and the ever-popular blue cornmeal.
There was snow.
The starter kept growing!
This Pyrex plate blew when I attempted to make a water bath to bake some sourdough bread.
After the intrepid first batch of bread sat overnight in the fridge, then for most of the day on top of the fridge, I baked it in a sparkling clean oven with a proper water bath.
Sounds like crust to me. Smells like popcorn because of the toasted polenta/grits around it. I haven’t had sourdough in…three or four years now. Don’t think I had it much when I became vegan since I ate mostly spelt, kamut, and weird ancient grains breads due to the whims of my favourite bakery in Montclair. I have high expectations!
Saturday’s post will be cheesecake, and not *that* kind of cheesecake!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.