Penne Alla Vodka – Gluten Free

 

Barbara first made Penne Ala Vodka for her son’s engagement party using a recipe from a friend of a friend. It has undergone a few changes over the years before it became an all-time family favorite. As you may know, whenever possible we always make a gluten-free version of our recipes for Teresa’s husband Jack.  We don’t want him to ever feel left out. This recipe was very easy to convert since you just replace regular penne pasta with Gluten-Free penne pasta.  Thanks to great improvements in gluten-free products, having Celiac’s disease no longer means you have to miss out on delicious pasta meals.

This recipe is delicious and not your typical restaurant flavor. If you’re not a fan of a little heat, omit the cayenne but it’s really not a strong kick. 

Ingredients

Servings: 8-10

  • Prepare basic tomato sauce ahead of time (see recipe link below)
  • 2 lbs. Barilla Gluten-Free Penne pasta with the lines (sauce sticks to it better)
  • 6 Tablespoons of salted butter
  • 8-10 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more for a bigger kick)
  • 6-8 shakes red pepper flakes (more if you like it hotter)
  • 1/2 lb. very thin sliced Prosciutto, shred into pieces with your fingers
  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • dash of black pepper
  • 4 ounces vodka
  • 1 qt heavy cream (light cream can also be used)
  • 4 cups of already prepared Basic Tomato Sauce, (or your favorite red sauce)
  • 4 heaping handfuls of Pecorino Romano grated cheese (approximately 2 cups)
  • 1 lb. mozzarella cheese,  shredded or diced

Instructions

  • Saute garlic and prosciutto in melted butter in a deep skillet.
  • Add salt, cayenne pepper & red pepper flakes.
  • Add vodka to deglaze and stir well.
  • Add cream, red sauce, and Pecorino Romano cheese. 
  • Simmer & stir until it comes to a boil, don’t overcook.
  • Add mozzarella just after it comes to a boil to avoid mozzarella from balling up.
  • Pour 2 ladles of vodka sauce over cooked penne to coat.
  • Use remaining sauce to top individual servings and pour the additional sauce in a gravy boat for the table.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves. 


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Penne Alla Vodka

 

Barbara first made Penne Ala Vodka for her son’s engagement party using a recipe from a friend of a friend. It has undergone a few changes over the years before it became an all-time family favorite…her granddaughter Stefani could live on this alone! Stefani recently requested that Barbara make it for her baby shower, and she was disappointed when there weren’t any leftovers to take home to Virginia! It’s always a big crowd pleaser and a must have for every holiday dinner.

This recipe is delicious and not your typical restaurant flavor. If you’re not a fan of a little heat, omit the cayenne but it’s really not a strong kick. 

Ingredients

Servings: 8-10

  • Prepare basic tomato sauce ahead of time (see recipe link below)
  • 2 lbs. Penne pasta with the lines (sauce sticks to it better)
  • 6 Tablespoons of salted butter
  • 8-10 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more for a bigger kick)
  • 6-8 shakes red pepper flakes (more if you like it hotter)
  • 1/2 lb. very thin sliced Prosciutto, shred into pieces with your fingers
  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • dash of black pepper
  • 4 ounces vodka
  • 1 qt heavy cream (light cream can also be used)
  • 4 cups of already prepared Basic Tomato Sauce, (or your favorite red sauce)
  • 4 heaping handfuls of Pecorino Romano grated cheese (approximately 2 cups)
  • 1 lb. mozzarella cheese,  shredded or diced

Instructions

  • Saute garlic and prosciutto in melted butter in a deep skillet.
  • Add salt, cayenne pepper & red pepper flakes.
  • Add vodka to deglaze and stir well.
  • Add cream, red sauce, and Pecorino Romano cheese. 
  • Simmer & stir until it comes to a boil, don’t overcook.
  • Add mozzarella just after it comes to a boil to avoid mozzarella from balling up.
  • Pour 2 ladles of vodka sauce over cooked penne to coat.
  • Use remaining sauce to top individual servings and pour the additional sauce in a gravy boat for the table.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves. 


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Jennifer’s Beef Stew

 

Jennifer's Beef Stew

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy

When we were kids my least favorite meal (besides liver) was beef stew. I hated it and Teresa liked it. On a recent trip back to Long Island, my daughter Jennifer made a batch of beef stew which I tasted just to be polite. I was pleasantly surprised. There were so many wonderful flavors that I ate the whole bowl! Her secret was the beef bone broth, Isabella wine & thyme. I have used beef bone broth in the past; however, none compare as well to the Epic brand made from grass-fed beef. Serve with buttered Italian bread, over creamy mashed potatoes, rice or egg noodles. You won't need a knife to cut your meat, it's extremely tender, juicy, and delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2  lbs. beef stew meat (or beef chuck cut into 1-inch squares)
  • 2 Tablespoons bacon grease (from 6 strips cooked bacon)
  • 2 lbs. mushrooms, thickly sliced in half or thirds
  • 2½ tsp sea salt or to taste (divide into 1 tsp and 1½ tsp)
  • 1½ tsp freshly ground black pepper (divide into 1 tsp and 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (use gluten-free flour if gluten is an issue)
  • 1 cup red wine (Jennifer uses Isabella by Pindar, however, any Cabernet Sauvignon, Montepulciano or Sangiovese will work)
  • 2 Tablespoons EVOO
  • 6 carrots, peeled & cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 5-6 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bottles (28 ounces) Epic Beef Bone Broth Jalapeno & Sea Salt
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 4 russet potatoes, quartered then cut into small bite size pieces
  • 1½  tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp parsley (dried or frozen cubes)
  • 1 bag frozen peas, thawed (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour to thicken gravy

    Directions

    1. Pre-heat oven to 325ºF.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, 1½ tsp sea salt, and 1 tsp black pepper. Mix together then add the stew meat a little at a time to coat all sides well.
    3. In a large dutch oven, heat bacon grease over medium heat until hot. Transfer meat in 2-3 batches, into the hot bacon fat. Cook 3 minutes on each side until browned. Add EVOO if needed. Set meat aside in a bowl.
    4. Pour 1 cup red wine into the dutch oven to deglaze and bring to a boil, scraping bottom well to get all the meat bits mixed in.
    5. Add the mushrooms and simmer for 10 minutes.
    6. In a separate large skillet on medium-high heat, add 2 Tablespoons EVOO. Add carrots, potatoes, onion, and garlic. Sauté approximately 4 minutes.
    7. Add 1 Tablespoon flour and mix constantly for 1-2 minutes. (If a thicker gravy is Preferred, add 2 Tablespoons flour instead of 1.)
    8. Add 2 Tablespoons tomato paste.
    9. Sauté 1-2 minutes longer.
    10. Transfer the vegetables to the dutch oven. Add the 2 bottles of beef bone broth, 2 bay leaves, dried thyme, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Return the beef (and bacon if you cooked bacon), to the pot and stir to combine.
    11. Cover dutch oven with lid and bake in a 325ºF oven for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Add thawed peas and continue cooking another 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

    Notes:  I always have bacon fat on hand in the refrigerator. Once I cook the bacon I drain the fat into a small pyrex dish then store covered in the refrigerator.

    Beef broth may be substituted for Beef bone broth.

     

     

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    Stuffed Mushrooms Alla Grandma Florence, Gluten-Free

     

    Stuffed Mushrooms Alla Grandma Florence, Gluten-Free

    • Servings: 8-10
    • Difficulty: Easy

    One of the dishes we missed most at the holidays was Grandma Florence's stuffed mushrooms. Wow were they delizioso! 😋 We are excited we nailed it as they taste just like Grandma's did. We're happy to share it with you and hope you enjoy them as much as our family does. These can be served as appetizers, a side dish to a roast, chicken, veal or pasta or a main dish if using large Portobello mushrooms.

    Ingredients

    • 28 Baby Bella Mushrooms (1 – 1/2 inches wide)
    • 10 large cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 cup  Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • 1 cup  4C Gluten-Free Seasoned Bread Crumbs (may substitute with regular Italian seasoned bread crumbs if gluten not an issue)
    • 6 Tablespoons salted butter, melted to combine with bread crumbs
    • 1 Tablespoon salted butter to sauté mushroom stems

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 425º F.
    2. Wash & clean all the mushrooms, gently removing the stems. Set stems aside to chop.
    3. Dry mushrooms well with paper towels.
    4. Line a baking pan with tin foil and drizzle EVOO just to coat the pan.
    5. Place the mushrooms on the baking pan.
    6. In a small skillet on high heat, sauté the mushroom stems with 1 Tablespoon of butter, about 5 minutes until butter is absorbed.
    7. In a medium size bowl, add the breadcrumbs, grated cheese, oregano, parsley, melted butter, and minced garlic.  Mix well then add the sautéed mushroom stems. Combine well.
    8. Using a small spoon, spoon mixture into each mushroom cap (about 2 spoonfuls for each)
    9. Place into preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or just until golden.
    10. Remove from oven. Let sit about 5 minutes then serve.

     

    Notes: We also made a batch of large Portobello mushrooms that were a meal in themselves with a side salad!

     

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