I made this for my husband the other night after he had been away for a few days. He said it was great to have a home cooked meal! He is a meateater, and I am a vegetarian. He devours this:
boil a pot of water for pasta in the meantime, heat a small amount of olive oil and add chopped shallot and garlic. Sautee until clear. Add about a 1/2 cup (I never measure) really, really good vodka (like Pravda) and let that boil down over medium heat. Add a large can (I think it is 32 oz) of crushed tomato to the pan and season it with dried basil, a little crushed red pepper, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Let that simmer for while. In the meantime, add the penne to the boiling water, and a pinch of salt. Cook til al dente. Drain the pasta and add the sauce to it. Let it sit so the sauce can absorb into the pasta. This is a variation that usually has cream in it, but I just leave that out. I do add a *little* parmesan to the top, but that can be left out, or added to individual dishes! Note that if you don't use crushed tomato (if it is chunky and has less liquid), you may need to add liquid. I have a can of veggie broth on hand to tweak the consistency to my liking. It is supposed to be on the watery side. If you let it sit, the pasta will absorb the juice. Enjoy!