Penne Alla Vodka




Penne Alla Vodka is a classic Italian pasta dish made with penne pasta in a creamy tomato and vodka sauce. Very easy but oh so tasty!

Penne Alla Vodka
My version of the Italian classic, Penne Alla Vodka, makes for a quick and easy weeknight dinner that the whole family are going to love. Who doesn't love a simple pasta and sauce sometimes? If you're not a fan of vodka, don't be put off though! You can't taste the vodka in the sauce, it just really helps to bring the flavour of the tomatoes out.

Penne Alla Vodka

A Quick Tomato and Vodka Sauce

In classic Italian cooking you don't often find cream used in tomato based sauces for pasta because of the risk of the cream (fat) separating from the acidic tomatoes. In this dish however, the vodka acts as an emulsifier, which stops that happening. You can use any vodka you have, it doesn't have to be a top brand, they will all have the same effect.

It's also a very quick sauce to prepare, taking not much longer than it takes to cook the pasta. This is music to my ears on busy weeknights when the kids are hungry.

Penne Alla Vodka

Step By Step Penne Alla Vodka

To begin this super simple recipe you need to chop an onion and 3 garlic cloves and cook on a low heat to soften.

onions

Once the onion mix is cooked through, add the vodka, dried oregano and basil and continue to cook until the vodka has reduced.

Onions and herbs in a pan

I use passata in this recipe as my kids like a smooth pasta sauce, but you can always add tinned chopped tomatoes instead.

Tomato vodka sauce

Add the cream to the sauce and mix it all in. I use double cream in my recipe but single cream would also be OK to use.

Creamy Tomato Vodka Sauce

Make sure the sauce is mixed in thoroughly before adding the cooked pasta.

Adding the Penne to the Tomato and Vodka Sauce
Coat the penne in the creamy tomato vodka sauce, until every last bit of pasta is covered.

Penne Alla Vodka

Add a handful of grated Parmesan to the pan and stir until the cheese has melted into the sauce.

Adding Parmesan to Penne Alla Vodka

Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and more grated Parmesan. My kids really go for the Parmesan in this meal!

Penne Alla Vodka




Nutrition Information For 1 Serving





More Tomato Based Pasta Recipes You Might Like

Saucy Sausage Pasta from me Jam & Clotted Cream
Easy Tomato Sauce from Easy Peasy Foodie

Penne Alla Vodka

Top Tips For Making Penne Alla Vodka

  • Spice it up by adding a chopped red chilli at the same time as the onion and garlic.
  • The sauce can be frozen so why not make a double batch of the sauce and freeze half.
  • Up the veg by adding some sliced mushrooms or courgettes to the sauce (fry them after the onion and garlic).
  • Serve with some garlic bread and a simple side salad.

Penne Alla Vodka


Penne Alla Vodka, Creamy Tomato Pasta
Pasta
Italian
Yield: 4

Penne Alla Vodka

prep time: 8 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 28 mins
Penne Alla Vodka is a classic Italian pasta dish made with penne pasta in a creamy tomato and vodka sauce. Very easy but oh so tasty!

ingredients:

  • 400g Penne
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped finely
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 125ml Vodka
  • 1/2 TSP Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 TSP Dried Basil (optional)
  • 700g Passata
  • 250ml Double Cream
  • 50g Parmesan, grated, plus extra for serving
  • Handful of Fresh Parsley, chopped

instructions:

  1. Cook the Penne pasta in a pan of boiling water as per instructions.
  2. Meanwhile make the sauce. Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil (in a large pan) until soft - about 10 minutes.
  3. Pour in the vodka and dried herbs and cook down until the vodka has almost evaporated.
  4. Add the passata and simmer on low for 5 minutes before pouring in the cream and mixing through the grated Parmesan.
  5. Drain the pasta (reserving 1 cup of cooking water) then mix the drained pasta through the sauce. Use the pasta water to loosen the sauce a little if needed.
  6. Serve with more grated Parmesan and chopped parsley.

NOTES:

Calories and nutrition for 1 serving
calories
719
fat (grams)
35.5
sat. fat (grams)
17.7
carbs (grams)
70.9
protein (grams)
18
sugar (grams)
1.3



try next

Cheese, Bacon & Onion Lasagne

Another easy and frugal pasta dish for you to try! This Cheese, Bacon and Onion Lasagne is super simple to make but packs a punch in flavour. Perfect with a crisp green salad and garlic bread.

Cheese, Bacon and Onion Lasagne

More Recipes

Looking for more recipe inspiration? Check out my recipe index for hundreds of family friendly recipe ideas. 

Beth Sachs
6 Comments

Banana & Peanut Butter Flapjacks



Healthy and nutritious banana and peanut butter flapjacks sweetened with honey. The flapjacks are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free.


Banana and Peanut Butter Flapjacks


I make flapjacks (or oat bars as they are known in the US) a lot, and these Banana & Peanut Butter flapjacks are one of my favourites at the moment. Packed with protein and refined sugar free, they make fab healthy breakfasts on the go. I often go swimming in the morning after the school run, so I take one of these to have in the car after my swim and they keep me nice and full until lunchtime.

Using Up Over Ripe Banana's

I'm always looking for recipes to use up those pesky black banana's in the fruit bowl. These banana and choc chip muffins are my usual go to recipe, as is this yummy banana cake, but I wanted to find another way to use up over ripe banana's. Who knew banana's in flapjacks were so good? They make the flapjack lovely and squidgy. Just the way I like them!

Banana and Peanut Butter Flapjacks

Favourite Flapjack Recipes

I've got quite a few flapjack recipes on the blog, but by far and away the most popular are these Honey and Peanut Butter Flapjacks

Honey and Peanut Butter Flapjacks

I also really like these flapjack recipes from fellow food bloggers:
Carrot Cake Flapjacks from Tin & Thyme
Cherry Oat Bars from A Mummy Too

Step By Step Banana and Peanut Butter Flapjacks

Melt the peanut butter and honey in a heavy bottom saucepan over a medium heat. Keep stirring to prevent the mixture catching on the bottom of the pan.

Honey and Peanut Butter

Next you need to mash the over-ripe banana's with a fork and add it to the peanut butter and honey mixture.

Mashed Banana

Then its time to stir in the gluten free oats. I added in a handful of chopped walnuts too but it's completely optional.You could try chopped dried apricot if you wanted to make them more fruity.

Making Flapjacks in a saucepan

Press the flapjack mixture into a lined baking tin and bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes. Leave to cool before cutting into squares. They will keep for up to 10 days in an airtight container.

Banana and Peanut Butter Flapjacks


Top Tips For Making Banana and Peanut Butter Flapjacks

  • These flapjacks are refined sugar free but if you like your flapjacks on the sweeter side add 150g light brown sugar when you melt together the peanut butter and honey.
  • Add chopped dried fruit or nuts such as walnuts or pecans for added texture and taste. A large  handful should be enough.
  • If you're not too keen on peanut butter, replace it with salted butter. The same goes for honey, if you prefer golden syrup use that instead. The result will be a lot sweeter (and obviously not refined sugar free anymore!
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Banana & Peanut Butter Flapjacks

Banana and Peanut Butter Flapjacks

Nutrition Information For 1 Flapjack


Banana and Peanut Butter Flapjacks


Banana & Peanut Butter Flapjacks
Baking
Baking, Gluten Free
Yield: 12

Banana & Peanut Butter Flapjacks

prep time: 8 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 28 mins
Healthy and nutritious banana and peanut butter flapjacks sweetened with honey. These are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free.

ingredients:


  • 200g Peanut Butter
  • 200g Honey
  • 3 Over Ripe Banana's, mashed
  • 400g Gluten Free Oats

instructions:


  1. Preheat the oven to 180° (160°fan) and line a 20x30 baking tin with baking paper.
  2. In a heavy bottomed pan melt the peanut butter and honey over a medium heat.
  3. Stir through the mashed banana's then mix in the oats. Keep stirring until everything is combined.
  4. If you want to add any extra's like chopped dried fruit or nuts, now is the time. Press the mixture into a tin and bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes. Check after 15 minutes.
  5. Let the flapjack cool before cutting into 12 squares.

NOTES:

Calories and nutrition for 1 flapjack
calories
301
fat (grams)
10.7
sat. fat (grams)
2.2
carbs (grams)
46.3
protein (grams)
8.9
sugar (grams)
19.2




Try this next

Golden Syrup and Oat Cookies

These golden syrup and oat cookies are perfect with a cuppa or glass of milk for the kiddies. They taste very much like flapjacks too!

Golden Syrup & Oat Cookies

More Recipes

Follow Jam & Clotted Cream on Pinterest for lots of family friendly recipe inspiration. It's also a great visual guide to my recipes!
Beth Sachs
8 Comments

Roasted Rhubarb with Orange & Honey



Roasted rhubarb with an orange and honey glaze. A perfect accompaniment to Greek yogurt for a healthy breakfast.

Roasted Rhubarb with Orange & Honey

I love rhubarb, particularly the colour and delicate taste of forced rhubarb, which is a lovely vibrant pink and quite sweet compared to its outdoor counterpart. I found myself with a bag of forced rhubarb the other day and decided to roast it with orange and honey to make it into a chunky compote. It's fabulous served with plain Greek yogurt, but also good with a bowl of creamy custard. Does anyone  remember those rhubarb and custard boiled sweets you used to be able to get from the newsagents? I loved those!

Roasted Rhubarb with Orange & Honey

Forced Rhubarb & The Yorkshire Rhubarb Triangle

You can find forced rhubarb from mid December to early March, with field grown rhubarb usually available from April to June. The famous Yorkshire rhubarb triangle is a nine square mile concentration of forcing sheds between Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell. Mature plants (often two or three years old) are 'forced' by being lifted from the soil late in the year and grown in warm, dark sheds, where they send out bright pink tender stalks with pale green leaves. Traditionally, harvesting the rhubarb takes place at nighttime using candlelight, and when it's quiet in the forcing shed, you can often hear the creaking of the rhubarb stalks as they grow.

Health Benefits of Rhubarb

Forced rhubarb stalks contain high levels of polyphenols known for their anti-oxidant properties, and are packed with vitamins and minerals including calcium. Rhubarb is also really low in fat too. Be careful not to eat the leaves though, as they are very poisonous. 

Roasted Rhubarb

Step by Step Instructions for Roasted Rhubarb

Trim the rhubarb stalks and give them a quick wash under the tap. Cut the rhubarb into 3cm lengths and place in a baking tin.

Rhubarb


Squeeze over the juice of an orange, a little dark brown sugar and honey and make sure the rhubarb is coated in this orange honey glaze.

Roasted Rhubarb with Orange & Honey


Cover with foil and roast in the oven until it is cooked through and tender - which usually takes 15 minutes or so.

Rhubarb covered in foil


Once the Rhubarb is cooked, let it cool down to room temperature before spooning into an airtight container.

Roasted Rhubarb
The rhubarb can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. In my opinion it's best served with thick Greek yogurt for a healthy breakfast or snack. You can also use it as the base for a quick crumble.

Healthy Breakfast Idea's

The new year always see's me (and this year my husband too) on a healthy eating kick. Below are a few more idea's for healthy breakfasts.

Slow Cooker Porridge

Slow Cooker Porridge

All the hard work gets done the night before with this slow cooker porridge (and it really isn't very hard), so in the morning all you need to do is lift the lid off the slow cooker and serve. A yummy warming breakfast for colder days.

Fruit and Nut Oat Bars

Fruit and Nut Oat Bars

These healthy fruit and nut bars are great for breakfasts on the run! I take a few of these to work with me as I try and go swimming first thing and eat breakfast at my desk. These can be frozen so I tend to make a big batch, freeze them individually, then pull out however many I need the night before.

Cherry & Almond Muffins

Cherry and Almond Muffins

These cherry and almond muffins also make great on the go breakfasts. You can alter the berries to what's in season. Blackberries would work well, as would blueberries.

Nutrition Information For 1 Serving of Roasted Rhubarb


More Ways To Use Rhubarb

Rhubarb & Strawberry Crumble

Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble

Simple Rhubarb and Gin Jam from Fab Food 4 All
Rustic Rhubarb Galette from Tin and Thyme
Rhubarb Curd from Foodie Quine

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Roasted Rhubarb Pin

Roasted Rhubarb Recipe

Roasted Rhubarb
Breakfast, Fruit
Yield: 4

Roasted Rhubarb with Orange and Honey

prep time: 5 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 25 mins
Roasted forced pink rhubarb with an orange and honey glaze. A perfect accompaniment to Greek yogurt for a healthy breakfast.

ingredients:


  • 5 Rhubarb Stalks, washed, trimmed and then cut into 3cm lengths
  • 1 TBSP Dark Brown Sugar
  • 100ml Honey
  • Juice of 1 Orange

instructions:


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c (160° fan). Place the trimmed rhubarb in a roasting tin.
  2. Sprinkle the sugar over the rhubarb then squeeze over the juice of 1 orange and drizzle over the honey. Make sure the rhubarb is coated in the glaze. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes take the foil off the rhubarb and place back in the oven for 5 more minutes.
  4. Let the roasted rhubarb cool before transferring to an airtight container if not using immediately. Otherwise, spoon the rhubarb and juice over some thick Greek yogurt.

NOTES:

Calories and nutrition is for 1 serving only
calories
119
fat (grams)
0.2
sat. fat (grams)
0
carbs (grams)
31.3
protein (grams)
1
sugar (grams)
28.4



Try this next

Apple & Blackberry Crumble

I'll let you into a secret. I often have leftover crumble for breakfast (well, it is kind of healthy as long as it doesn't have too much sugar) and this one is really yummy!

Apple and Blackberry Crumble


More Recipes

Follow Jam & Clotted Cream on Pinterest to keep up to date with the latest recipes from the blog and don't forget to check out my recipe index for hundreds of family friendly recipes and meal inspiration.
Beth Sachs
3 Comments

Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Chicken



Slow cooked tender chicken strips, vegetables and pineapple chunks in an easy homemade sweet and sour sauce. The kids will love it!

Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Chicken

It's turned a bit chilly here in Cornwall over the last few days, and when the weather turns cold, I turn to my trusty slow cooker for meal inspiration. This yummy sweet and sour chicken recipe is made in the slow cooker, but the sauce is finished on the hob to get that beautiful glossy sheen. It really is very easy but more importantly super tasty.

I love my slow cooker (I think I might have mentioned that before!). Such little effort needed for great tasting food in return. However, I've always had a bit of an issue getting a sweet and sour sauce just right. When I've made it in the slow cooker previously, it's turned out a bit watery (still tastes great though). This time I decided to reduce the sauce on the hob with a cornflour paste and a bit of sweet chilli sauce, to help thicken it. It made a huge difference to the finished dish and was well worth the extra 5 minutes of effort just before serving up.

Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Chicken

Tried and Tested Slow Cooker Recipes 

Before I let you in on the secret recipe, it's probably a good time to tell you that I have lots more slow cooker recipes on the blog. All equally yummy and take just minutes of preparation. Here are some of my favourites.
Slow Cooker Bolognese

Slow Cooker Chicken and Sweet Potato Korma

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken

Step By Step Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Chicken

Back to the recipe and this slow cooker sweet and sour chicken couldn't be easier to make. Firstly, place your chopped veggies at the bottom of the slow cooker basin. You can use any veggies you like, but I used carrots, peppers, onions and garlic. Keeping it simple for the kids is the way to go...unless you have very unfussy kids.

Veggies for the Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour
Then cut the chicken into bitesize pieces, coat in a little flour and place into the basin on top of the veggies.

Chicken

The sweet and sour sauce is made from a mixture of cider vinegar, soy sauce, tomato puree, sugar, pineapple juice and stock. Just mix it together in a saucepan before pouring on top of the chicken and veggies.

Sweet and Sour Sauce
Once everything is in, pop it on low for between 6 - 8 hours and add the pineapple chunks right at the end (to stop them turning to mush). As I mentioned before, once it's cooked I remove the chicken and veggies to a plate and pour the sauce into a saucepan, adding 3 tbsp of sweet chilli sauce and a paste made from cornflour and water. Whisk the sauce over a medium high heat until it comes to the boil and starts to thicken. Then you just continue to cook it until you get your desired consistency.

Thickening Granules

It's worth mentioning the thickening granules I sometimes use in place of cornflour, to thicken sauces. You can usually find them by the gravy and stock cubes in the supermarket. You just add the required number of teaspoons based on the volume of liquid you have and just like magic it thickens up almost instantly. If you see the thickening granules when you're next in the supermarket, I'd definitely give them a go!

Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Chicken

Top Tips For Making Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Chicken

  • If you like your food hot, add a chopped red chilli along with the vegetables.
  • The recipe can be easily doubled to feed a crowd.
  • Alternatively the sweet and sour chicken freezes well too, so why not make double and freeze half for another day?
  • Make it veggie by omitting the chicken and adding extra vegetables.
  • Serve the sweet and sour chicken with long grain rice.
Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Chicken

Nutrition Information For 1 Serving



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Sweet and Sour Chicken in the Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Chicken


Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken
Slow Cooker
Slow Cooker
Yield: 4

Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Chicken

prep time: 15 minscook time: 8 hourtotal time: 8 hours and 15 mins
An easy slow cooker sweet and sour chicken recipe with red peppers, carrots, pineapple.

ingredients:


  • 400g tin Pineapple rings in juice (you need 2 rings (chopped) and all juice reserved for this recipe)
  • 1 Carrot, peeled and cut into batons
  • 1 Red Pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 Onion, sliced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 2cm Ginger, peeled and chopped
  • For the sauce:
  • Reserved juice from the tin of pineapple
  • 2 TBSP Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 TBSP Tomato Puree
  • 50ml Cider Vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Soy Sauce
  • 1 Chicken Stock Pot
  • Other ingredients:
  • 4 Chicken Breasts, cut into chunks
  • 1 TBSP Plain Flour
  • 3 TBSP Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • 1 TBSP Cornflour plus enough water to make a thick paste
  • 2 Spring onions, chopped to garnish plus 1 TBSP sesame seeds.

instructions:


  1. Place the carrot, pepper, onion, garlic and ginger at the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Toss the chicken with 1 TBSP flour and place in the slow cooker.
  3. Make the sauce by whisking together the sugar, tomato puree, cider vinegar, soy sauce, pineapple juice and stock pot and add 2 TBSP boiling water to melt the stock pot. Pour onto the chicken and veggies.
  4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir through the pineapple chunks then spoon the chicken and veggies onto a plate. Pour the sauce into a saucepan on a medium high heat on the hob. Mix in 3 TBSP of sweet chilli sauce and the cornflour paste and whisk until the sauce boils. Keep stirring until you get the desired consistency. Spoon the chicken and veggies back into the sauce and serve with rice, chopped spring onion and sesame seeds.

NOTES:

Nutrition is for 1 serving.
calories
419
fat (grams)
6.1
sat. fat (grams)
1.6
carbs (grams)
32.4
protein (grams)
56.8
sugar (grams)
25.5




Try this next

Slow Cooker Chilli Con Carne

This slow cooker beef chilli is probably my favourite slow cooker meal of all time, although this sweet and sour chicken is going to run it pretty close I think. 

Slow Cooker Chilli Con Carne

More Recipes

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Beth Sachs
1 Comments
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