Even if you're like me and can barely suppress an eye roll at the mention of words like "healthy grains," I guarantee that you'll like spelt — and specifically spelt pasta. It legitimately tastes like the real thing — none of that dense, chewy texture you get with other alternative grains. And while I'm not 100 percent sure I'm justified in feeling a lot less guilty about eating pasta when it's made with spelt, I definitely do, which is a real bonus.
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- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- One 28-ounce can puréed tomatoes
- 1/3 cup vodka
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- One 16-ounce box spelt penne pasta
- 4 basil leaves, chiffonade, for garnish
In a medium-sized, deep pan (or pot), sauté the minced garlic in the olive oil over low heat for a couple of minutes, until soft. Next, increase the heat to medium and add in the puréed tomatoes and vodka. Simmer for about 20 minutes to reduce by about 1/3, stirring occasionally.
Turn the heat to medium-low, and mix in the cream and Parmesan until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, bring the water for the pasta to a boil and cook the penne (about 7 minutes). When the pasta is al dente, drain the water and add the pasta to the sauce, and continue to cook on low for about 2 minutes. Garnish with grated Parmesan and basil.