Penne With Creamy Tomato Sauce

  • Yield : 24
  • Servings : 24
  • Prep Time : 0m
  • Cook Time : 0m
  • Ready In : 0m

Vodka adds a subtle smokiness to this vegetarian sauce made with sweet caramelized onions.


  • 6 lbs. Barilla® Penne
  • 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 oz. diced Spanish onion
  • 3/4 oz. thinly sliced garlic
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 oz. shredded carrot
  • 84 oz. canned whole tomatoes in juice
  • As needed salt
  • 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 lbs. diced red onion
  • 3 cups vodka
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 6 cups shredded Parmesan cheese


Step 1

Cook the Barilla® pasta for half the time indicated on the package. Drain pasta and drizzle with some olive oil to prevent from sticking. Place pasta flat on sheet trays or hotel pans and cool in a blast chiller. Alternatively, cool it down in a walk-in cooler. Store in zip lock bags or sealed plastic container; refrigerate and use within several hours.

Step 2

To make the tomato sauce: Heat 6 Tbsp. of the oil in a pot. Saute the Spanish onion and garlic until soft and lightly caramelized. Add the thyme and carrot and saute briefly. Add the tomatoes with their juices; bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring often, until the tomatoes have broken down. Season with salt. Remove and cool.

Step 3

To make the cream sauce: Heat 1 1/2 cups of the oil in a rondeau until it begins to smoke. Add the red onion and caramelize. Add the vodka and reduce by half. Add the tomato sauce and cream and cook until reduced by one third. Remove and cool in batches.

Step 4

For each serving, to order: Reheat 2 cups of pasta in salted boiling water for 40 to 60 seconds. Drain and add to a pan with 1/2 cup creamy tomato sauce. Heat through; toss with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Plate.

Recipe Type: Tags: ,
Chef Recommended Cuts
  • Penne
  • Pipette
  • Rigatoni
Related Recipes:
  • Braised Short Rib Penne

  • Rigatoni Sausage Caponata

  • Baked Orzotto with Cavallo Nero and Spring Peas

  • Campanelle al Salmone

  • Barilla Elbow Mac and Cheese with Turmeric and Roasted Cauliflower

Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 (681g)
Servings Per Container 24

Amount Per Serving
Calories 990
Calories from Fat 414
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 46g
Saturated Fat 14g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 60mg
Sodium 890mg
Total Carbohydrate 109g
Dietary Fiber 9g
Sugars 14g
Protein 26g

Vitamin A 50%
Vitamin C 80%
Calcium 40%
Iron 45%
Allergy Information:
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Please note: for the purpose of the nutritional assessment, total sodium does not include salt added to the cooking water. When salt is listed "as needed" in the ingredient list, 1 tsp total is included in the analysis.