I love my roommate. Whenever something is about to expire, she just hands it on to me. This week, I noticed a just expired sour cream container in the back of her section of the fridge and I knew I had to make something with it. I decided to continue cleaning up my pantry and make a sour cream version of penne a la vodka but this time with sardines. Today, I present to you a spicy sardine penne a la vodka.
A long time ago, I made a “skinny” version of penne a la vodka and let’s be honest, it just wasn’t my favourite recipe. I mean, it was good but it didn’t thicken up as much as I wanted it to. I wanted to try it again.
This spicy sardine version of the sauce is not exactly super traditional due to the use of the sour cream instead of heavy cream but hey, cream is cream! Surprisingly, it turned out! The sour cream aspect did not make the sauce sour or tart at all — it really lended a nice creamy mouthfeel to the sauce and a richness which was cut by the tomatos. It was a deliciously warming bowl of pasta.
I had a stray can of sardines packed in tomato sauce and decided to throw it in there. I personally think that this needed a saltier component instead of a fishy one. I would recommend adding some sausage or bacon to this, maybe some mushrooms as well and the use of fresh herbs if you can get your hands on them. I had a great bacon and mushroom penne a la vodka when I was in NYC last October and I just know it would work so well with this sauce!
Please note that this made a lot of sauce so either you can half the recipe, freeze some of it, or just make a large serving of pasta! Enjoy!
Spicy sardine penne a la vodka
What you’ll need:
– 1 pkg (375g) whole wheat penne
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 small onion, diced
– 6 cloves garlic, sliced
– 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
– 1/4 cup vodka
– 1 cup tomato sauce
– 2/3 cup sour cream
– 1 (6oz) can tomato paste
– 1 (6oz) can sardines in tomato sauce
– 1 tsp Italian seasoning
– Salt and pepper, to taste
What you’ll need to do:
1. Cook the pasta in a pot of heavily salted boiling water according to packaged directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.
2. In the meantime, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the onions and sautee for one minute. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
3. Add the vodka. After that, add the can of sardines, sauce and all. Mash it down with the spoon that you are using to stir the sauce.
4. Add the tomato sauce and add the spices. Slowly mix in the sour cream until it is well-incorporated and the sauce becomes pink.
5. Add the tomato paste and stir until it thickens. Feel free to add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Toss with the pasta and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serves 4 with leftover sauce (feel free to use all the sauce too if you would like it saucier).