Penne alla vodka is a pasta dish traditionally made with penne pasta, vodka, heavy cream, crushed tomatoes, onions, and bacon or pancetta.
This dish became very popular in Italy and in the US around the 1980s, but the origin of the Penne alla Vodka recipe has been disputed between Italy and the United States: both claim the creation of this recipe.
According to The Ultimate Pasta Cookbook, penne alla vodka was invented in the 70s at Dante, a restaurant in Bologna, Italy.
The Williams Sonoma Essentials of Italian cookbook states that it was invented in the 1980s by a Roman chef for a vodka company that wanted to popularize its product in Italy.
To support the creation of this dish in the United States, we have two tales: Luigi Franzese, the Italian American chef of Orsini Restaurant in New York and James Doty, a graduate of Columbia University.
As you can see, it’s not clear whether or not Penne alla Vodka is an authentic Italian recipe. BUT based on the ingredients, the technique, and the mark it left on Italian cuisine, the answer should be yes!
Since this dish is liked by many (including me), I decided to put a gluten & dairy free spin on it so those with dietary restrictions can enjoy these amazing flavours of Italy (or the US ?♀️).
This recipe is also great for those following a low-carb, keto or paleo diet.
If you love this recipe then you’ve got to try:
“Spaghetti” alla Vodka
INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-3)
1 large spaghetti squash
200 g pastured bacon or pancetta
1/2 cup vodka
1 shallot or small onion
12 oz tomato passata
7 oz full fat coconut milk , canned
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste
For the spaghetti squash:
1. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise and remove seeds with spoon.
2. Bake at 400 for 30-40 min (first 10-min bake with flesh down, then turn so skin is down for remaining time). Fork should pierce skin easily when squash is cooked. Note: Cooking time varies depending on the size of the squash. Check regularly to avoid overcooking the squash. You want the noodles to be ‘al dente’.
3. Use a fork to scrape out the strands of squash.
Time your spaghetti squash so that it’s done cooking around the same time as your sauce, so your noodles don’t cool.
For the vodka sauce:
1. Finely slice the shallot or onion and place in large frying pan with olive oil. Saute for 2-minutes over medium heat.
2. Slice bacon into small chunks and add it to the pan. Cook over low heat until the bacon becomes slightly crispy.
3. Raise the heat to medium-high and pour in vodka. Let the alcohol evaporate. This may take a few minutes.
4. When alcohol is completely evaporated, add tomato passata. Season with salt, stir and cook for 8-10 minutes over medium-high heat without a lid, stirring occasionally.
5. When the sauce is cooked, add the coconut milk and cook until you get a fairly thick and creamy vodka sauce. Turn off the heat and let it rest.
6. You can add spaghetti squash strands into the pan with vodka sauce and coat OR place spaghetti squash strands into a bowl and top with vodka sauce.
Eggnog’s warm and festive flavours coupled with its rich and creamy texture makes it the perfect drink on its own–or even better, when combined with coffee to make this Dairy Free Eggnog Latte!
Some notes on making Dairy Free Eggnog Latte
- The egg yolk is not necessary for taste, but it does create a creamier texture which is important if you’re using watered down carton nut milks. If using canned full fat coconut milk or other high fat nut milk, then the egg yolk is less important.
- If you want a frothy latte and don’t have an espresso machine with a steam wand, you can use a blender, immersion stick or other frothing tool instead. Blend/froth warmed eggnog then pour into the espresso OR blend/froth eggnog and espresso together.
- If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can make this latte with 1/2 a cup of strong brewed coffee instead.
- Even if you don’t like eggnog, you just might enjoy this eggnog latte. The BF is proof of this. He hates eggnog, but he’s a coffee snob and enjoyed the combination of flavours in this recipe. BIG win for our Sunday latte experiment!
What you need for Dairy Free Eggnog Latte
Want more delicious & healthy holiday recipes? You’re going to love these …
Dairy Free Eggnog Latte
Eggnog's warm and festive flavours coupled with its rich and creamy texture makes it the perfect drink on its own--or even better, when combined with coffee to make this Dairy Free Eggnog Latte!
- 1 cup coconut milk , or other nut milk
- 1-2 tsp. maple syrup or coconut sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp ground ceylon cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1-2 shots espresso
- 1 pastured egg yolk, optional (see notes above)
In a saucepan, warm nut milk, sweetener, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg over medium-low for roughly 5-minutes, stirring occasionally. You can also use a steam wand on an espresso machine to warm and froth ingredients at the same time.
If using an egg yolk: In a separate bowl, whip the egg yolk until frothy. Add a few teaspoons of the warm nut milk to the egg yolk (this will ensure you don't end up with scrambled eggs), then pour the egg mixture into the warm nut milk and continue to heat for a couple minutes.
Froth the milk mixture/eggnog with a blender, immersion stick or other tool, if desired.
Brew espresso then combine the eggnog with the espresso.
Feel free to top with whipped coconut cream and a sprinkling of nutmeg and cinnamon.
Beet Mash is the perfect side to your next meal! It’s high in fibre, low in carbs and bursting rich and creamy flavours. This mash recipe is great if you’re following a low-carb, plant-based or paleo diet.
DID YOU KNOW? Beets are an excellent source of disease-fighting phytonutrients called betalains which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Betalains are also responsible for providing beets with their vibrant color. Studies show that these potent pigments may help protect against the development of certain types of cancer and disease.
Try my Beet Mash recipe below. It’s versatile and can be enjoyed warm or cold …
- Use as a side to your meat or fish dishes.
- Enjoy topped with fried eggs.
- Use as a dip or spread for crackers, sliced veggies or wraps.
- Mix with canned wild fish for a quick and healthy meal.
What you need for Beet Mash
Full fat coconut milk
Looking for more ways to add beets to your diet? Try this Beet & Blueberry Smoothie!
Beet Mash is the perfect side to your next meal! It's high in fibre, low in carbs and bursting rich and creamy flavours. This mash recipe is great if you're following a low-carb, plant-based or paleo diet.
- 2 cups beets, peeled & sliced (or 1 bag frozen beets)
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk, canned
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Place vegetables on baking sheet with oil and spices and bake at 350F for 40 minutes.
Put cooked vegetables in a food processor or high-powered blender with coconut milk and mix until a smooth mash is formed.
Use right away or store in fridge for use during the week.
DID YOU KNOW? There are over 12,500 peer-reviewed articles published on the benefits of turmeric, in particular one of its powerful compounds, curcumin.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant – making it great for both weight loss and IBS.
Unfortunately, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high, so if you want to experience the full effects of this powerful compound, you need to take a supplement that contains high amounts of curcumin.
In addition, curcumin is poorly absorbed during digestion, so many different supplement formulations have been created to improve its bioavailability. Want to learn more about effective curcumin supplements? Send me a message and I’ll help guide you.
Consuming curcumin with certain fats and/or black pepper may help to increase absorption.
I used coconut milk (a healthy fat) and added black pepper to this Turmeric Latte, so you can get the most out of your golden milk!
INGREDIENTS: (serves 1)
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp honey or coconut sugar
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground ceylon cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
dash of black pepper
1. Add all ingredients into a small saucepan and heat on the stove. Whisk to combine ingredients. You can also add heated ingredients into a blender to combine.
2. Pour into a mug and enjoy!