Everything is better with peanut butter. But does peanut butter work in the ultra-popular penne alla vodka? I don’t know, I was too scared to try. Besides, I wanted to try a new secret ingredient for a healthier version of vodka sauce, and making two drastic modifications at once is a recipe for disaster. Can you guess the secret ingredient? I’ll give you a hint, I’ve used it to make Ice Cream and Pancakes (which, by the way, are two of my favorite recipes on this site). We ran out of penne, so while the full penne alla vodka experience wasn’t there, the taste and flavor was. This sauce greatly exceed both of our expectations – it tasted like a true penne alla vodka. It’s even better when topped with salmon. Make it tonight!
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup vodka or clear rum
2-3 thin slices of prosciutto, ham or bacon, chopped
3/4 cup cottage cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp olive oil
pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper
1. Saute the prosciutto, garlic and pepper flakes in a medium sauce pot until garlic begins to brown. Add the crushed tomatoes, vodka, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, place the cottage cheese in a blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy. If the cottage cheese is too thick to get perfectly smooth, add a splash of milk or water. Turn the sauce pot heat off and add the cottage cheese puree. Mix well, and serve over penne, topped with salmon, chicken, or more toasted prosciutto.