1 pound penne, cooked to package instruction (reserve 1 cup pasta water)
Fresh ground black pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
Toasted baguette to scoop up sauce
In your dutch oven or large sauce pot, over medium/high heat, add olive oil and butter. Once butter has melted add in the onion, dried oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper, and stir to combine. Allow the onion to cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add in the canned tomatoes and using your cooking spoon, carefully break up the tomatoes. Add in the tomato paste, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes.
After sauce has reduced for 30 minutes, add in the vodka, the cream, and using an immersion blender, blend until sauce is completely smooth (see note). Raise heat to high and bring the sauce to a boil, once the sauce is boiling reduce to a simmer and allow to reduce while pasta cooks.
In a large pasta pot, bring water to a boil with 2 tsp of kosher salt. Cook the penne to al dente according to package instructions. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta. Add the cooked pasta directly into the sauce and stir to combine. You can use the reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve with fresh basil and grated cheese.
If you do not have an immersion blender, you can carefully transfer to a heat safe blender to blend the sauce.