penne with gin

The Italian Job: penne pasta with gin

What could be better on a cold winter’s day than a warming, comforting bowl of pasta to heat you up from the inside? How about a bowl of pasta that has gin as one of its main ingredients? Got your attention, didn’t we!
There can be few more comforting things in the world than a hot, steaming bowl of Italian pasta served up on a cold day.
There’s something about Italian cooking that goes right to your soul. Hearty, robust and simple.
So, we thought we’d share a classic pasta recipe with you that makes use of one of our favourite ingredients: gin.

This is pasta the way your Italian grandmother would make it (if you had one!). The sort of food that sticks to your ribs and feels like a giant hug on a cold day. Plus, this recipe is not only hearty and flavoursome, but it is meat-free, so everyone can enjoy it. A tantalising combination of sweet, fruity tomatoes, wholesome pasta and rich cream, it’s really easy to make and will give you a warm glow from the inside to help you to do battle with the cold weather outside.

Gin versus vodka: you decide

Many of you may have seen Italian recipes that call for vodka as a main ingredient. Vodka Penne is probably the best known example. But Italy is now making better gins than ever before and we think it’s best to leave the vodka to the Russians. Like vodka, gin is a colourless spirit. But unlike vodka, gin has a complexity of flavours that poor old vodka can only aspire to. To start with, gin’s predominant flavour must be juniper, so it already has a big edge in the flavour stakes. This means that you have a solid target to bounce the additional ingredients off – and the results will be surprising and delicious.

You’re 15 minutes from Italian heaven

So, here we go – a delicious, vegetarian pasta dish that you can whip up from scratch in as little as 15 minutes. Made with cream, tomatoes, chili peppers, rosemary (and most importantly, gin). We recommend Malfy Originale as the perfect accompaniment for this dish, but any gin with a strong flavour profile will do. We chose Malfy Originale because it is a classic, dry gin, with eight different botanicals to tease your tastebuds. This gin is robust enough to rise above the competing flavours of this dish and complex enough to add a savoury juniper twist that will elevate this classic Italian dish to another level.

Gin penne pasta recipe

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz (350g) dried pasta
  • 3 tablespoons (45g) butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) gin (we recommend Malfy)
  • 1 1/4 cups (300g) canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red chili pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh rosemary
  • Salt
  • 1.4 cup (25g) freshly grated parmesan cheese

Method:

  1. Boil water in saucepan along wth 3 tablespoons of salt. Put pasta in and cook until al dente
  2. Melt the butter in a wide pan, large enough for all the pasta. Add the shallot and cook for one minute (until soft).
  3. Add the gin and simmer for three minutes
  4. Add the tomatoes, cream, red chili pepper, rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  5. Gently simmer for 10 minutes
  6. When the pasta is done, drain it and add to the pan. Reduce heat to low, add the cheese and stir until pasta is coated wth the sauce.
  7. Serve with extra cheese on top.

Cin-cin!



Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

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