Penne with Vodka Sauce, Sausage, Peppers and Mushrooms

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February 10, 2011 by Sara Kreidler

Well, I failed to get a picture of the finished dish, but here is Toby’s picture of the sauce while it was finishing up on the stove. This is ultimate comfort food — I could eat this every day.


Adapted from one of my all time favorite cookbooks, “Everyday Italian” by Giada DeLaurentiis


  • 1 quart marinara sauce
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • 1 pound of baby portabella mushrooms, cleaned and halved
  • 1 pound penne


  1. In a large skillet, brown the sausage, breaking it into bite sized pieces.  
  2. Add mushrooms and peppers to pan with sausage and saute.
  3. In a separate large pan, simmer the tomato sauce and vodka over low heat until the mixture reduces by 1/4, stirring often, about 20 minutes.
  4. Stir the cream into the tomato and vodka sauce. Simmer over low heat until the sauce is heated through. Stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted and well blended.
  5. Add the cooked sausage, mushrooms and peppers to the sauce and stir well to combine; simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
  7. Drain the pasta and transfer it to the pan with the sauce, and toss to coat.

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