Heat a large pot of water over medium-high heat. Add a few generous pinches of
Salt (to taste)
and let come to a boil while you prepare the sauce.
In a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the
Olive Oil (2 Tbsp)
. Add the
Garlic (2 cloves)
and cook until softened, 6-8 minutes.
Crushed Tomatoes (1 can)
Tomato Paste (1 can)
and cook for another 6-8 minutes, or until the mixture gets dark and sticks to the bottom of the pot.
Deglaze the pan with the
Vodka (1/2 cup)
making sure to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom.
Scoop up around 1/4 cup of boiling water with a heatproof measuring cup. Add the
Cream (1 cup)
to the same measuring cup. Pour the cream water into the sauce, stirring to quickly combine. Continue to cook over medium heat for 8-10 more minutes (up to 20 minutes) stirring occasionally.
While the sauce cooks, add the
Barilla® Penne Pasta (4 1/3 cups)
to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Once cooked, use a slotted spoon or spider to transfer the pasta directly to the sauce.
Turn the heat to low and add
Grated Parmesan Cheese (1 cup)
. Stir to combine, and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add more pasta water as needed to create a velvety sauce that coats the penne.
Serve pasta in large shallow bowls. Tear the
Fresh Basil Leaves (to taste)
on the top and sprinkle with more parmesan and
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (1/4 tsp)