Are you ready to fall in love with something that will give you total satisfaction and won’t ever answer you back? I think we could all use a little of that in our lives.
Get ready to have one of the most decadent, rich and creamy Alla Vodkas you’ve EVER encountered. You are going to scream “MAMA MIA!” for this one, folks!
And the best part? It’s SO FRIGGIN’ EASY. AND your family and friends will think you trained at the Alla Vodka Academy (yes, I just made this place exist). You’ll think you did too.
So let’s pack our bags for Italy in celebration of this new Instant Pot classic!
Here’s How I Made It!:
Begin by dicing up a shallot.
And then grabbing some bacon…
…and cutting that into pieces too.
Heat the Instant pot and sauté the shallots and bacon.
Then add in some water and deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pan…
…and a can of stewed (or diced) tomatoes.
INTO THE POT YOU GO!
Next, add mezze penne pasta (the best noodle for this)…
…and cover it with a good marinara sauce.
Toss in a little garlic…
…and a little butter.
And what would this dish be without a little vodka anyway? Spike that sauce (Don’t worry! – the alcohol will burn off during the cooking and release! The purpose of the vodka is to bring the flavors of the tomatoes out even more!)
Stir it up, secure the lid and cook on high pressure.
When the lid comes off, its going to already look (and smell) beautiful.
So let’s give it all a good stir (and give the bottom of the pot a good scrape in case a couple noodles may have gotten stuck which is totally normal and fine).
Now we’ll add a little heavy cream…
…some grated parmesan…
…and some cream cheese…
…and stir one last time until everything is blended in and our sauce has become that thick and creamy vodka sauce we all know and love!
Sprinkle some cheese and fresh oregano on top and serve that masterpiece UP!
- 1/2 cup of bacon, diced (about 2 strips cut up – I find kitchen shears work best to achieve this) – and this is optional, but suggested
- 1 large shallot, diced – also optional, but highly suggested
- 1 1/2 cups of water (if using an 8qt, add another cup of water)
- 3 1/2 cups of marinara sauce (use a good one – I LOVE Victoria White Linen which you can get at Costco or other markets)
- 1/4 cup of Vodka (no, it won’t get you drunk – the alcohol will burn off!)
- 14.5 oz can of either diced or stewed tomatoes (go with stewed if you want it chunkier), with the juices
- 3 cups (or 1 box, really) of Mezze Penne OR Penne Rigate (I find this pasta works best – it’s like a mini penne and rigatoni combined)
- 2 tsp crushed garlic
- 2 tbsp of butter (1/4 stick)
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream
- 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 2oz of a brick of cream cheese (about 1/4 of the brick)
- Salt & pepper to taste (if you desire)
- Fresh oregano and more Parmesan cheese for topping
- On your Instant Pot, Hit “Sauté” and “Adjust” so it’s on the Normal setting
- Once it reads “Hot,” add the diced bacon. Stir often as it will want to stick to the pot – and it’s okay if it does a little. The cooking bacon will create a little of its own grease. Let it cook for about 1 minute.
- Add the shallots and stir with the bacon often. About 2 minutes. We do not want the bacon to be crispy – just enough heat so it’s only lightly cooked and still soft. After about 2 minutes, the bottom of the pot will likely begin to turn a little brown. This is a good thing and will mean we are ready for the next step.
- Hit the “Cancel/Keep Warm” button so the display reads “Off.” Add the water (if using an 8qt, add a second cup of water). Use a mixing spoon and give the bottom of the pot a good scraping.
- Add the can of stewed or diced tomatoes, pasta, marinara sauce, vodka, garlic and butter (in that order). Mix VERY well
- Secure Lid and hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 7 minutes.
- Quick release
- Stir very well for a minute (scrape the bottom of the pan just in case a few noodles may have straggled and clung to the bottom – this is normal but won’t be an issue).
- Add the heavy cream, parmesan and cream cheese (in that order and mix in between each item is added). When all is in the pot, mix for a good 2 minutes so everything is melted and blended in nicely. Add salt & pepper to taste (I didn’t as I think the marinara sauce and canned tomatoes already provide plenty of that – but everyone’s taste buds are different!)
- Serve in a bowl and top with fresh shredded (or grated) Parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh, chopped oregano if you desire.
Don’t have any vodka? No problem! Just cook it without! (The main purpose of the vodka is to bring out the flavor of the tomato sauce even more!)
Want it cheesier? Add in some more parmesan!
Sub crumbled pancetta for the bacon if you wish! Or add in some crumbled sausage, ground beef, ground turkey or ground chicken as well during this step (and leave the juices in the pot – do not drain!)
If not using the bacon and only the shallots, add in 1/4 tsp of olive oil to cook them in for about 2 minutes. If not using the bacon OR shallots, just start with Step 4.