Penne Alla No-Vodka

When I won Heather's giveaway for Rocco DiSpirito's new cookbook, I couldn't have been more psyched. His new book features classic comfort dishes that are 'lightened up' by making simple changes to the ingredients.

So after Shaun and I were snowed in eating popcorn all night...and drinking lots of wine...

...I realized I had all the ingredients to make Rocco's No Cream/No Cry Penne alla Vodka. I practically did one of these in celebration.


Yes, it's still pasta, which by nature just seems unhealthy. But by cutting out the cream in favor of Greek yogurt, this dish goes from decadent and rich to...not as decadent and rich. Oh and did I mention that I whipped it up in record time? It's super easy.


Penne Alla No-Vodka
*Adapted from Rocco DiSpirito's Now Eat This
1 box pasta of your choice (I used Cavatappi)
2 C or 1 jar tomato sauce (see below for further info)
1 C Greek yogurt (2% or 0%)
Parmesean cheese

Prepare pasta according to box directions.

In a saucepan, heat up the sauce. I used a store-bought organic brand and doctored it up to add a little more flavor. I started the sauce with some diced onions and 2 minced garlic cloves.



After sauteeing for a few minutes to soften, I added the jar of sauce, some dried basil and 2 bay leaves. I let this simmer and reduce.

In a small bowl, mix 1/2 C of the sauce with the Greek yogurt, stirring until smooth. Add back into the pot of sauce and whisk together (Note: this tempers the yogurt so that when it's added to the large pot of sauce it doesn't curdle. See? I teach you things too).

In a large bowl, toss the pasta and sauce together.

Serve in a pretty dish.

Top with {lots of} parmesean cheese.

Enjoy guilt free! Oh and if you are wondering why there's no vodka in this, it's because Rocco says it's not needed since it brings no flavor to the dish. All those Italian restaurants are merely fooling us with this fancy title apparently. Now you're an insider.

So what do you think? Have you ever lightened up a decadent dish?