This simple, yet delicious, pasta recipe is a classic. And, if you prefer a vegetarian entrée, it’s yummy even without the meat!


  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 5-6 sweet Italian Sausages (raw)
  • ½ sweet onion (chopped)
  • 3 large garlic gloves, minced
  • ¼ cup vodka
  • 2 lbs roma tomatoes chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ pound penne pasta
  • fresh basil and parmesan for garnish


  1. In a food processor puree tomatoes until smooth, set aside.
  2. In a sauce pan heat oil over medium heat. Add Italian sausage by squeezing the meat out of the casing. Break meat up with a wooden spoon into bite sized pieces and cook until no longer pink.
  3. Add onion (and more oil if needed) and continue cooking for additional 3-4 minutes until soft.
  4. Add garlic for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add vodka and simmer until reduced by half. Meanwhile cook penne according to package directions.
  5. Add tomato puree, cream, sugar, dried oregano, dried basil, and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve sauce over cooked penne and garnish with fresh parmesan and basil. Enjoy!

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NatNat develops, tests and shares her favourite family-friendly recipes that even your pickiest eater will enjoy on her website Sneaky Mommies.