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Blushing Penne Pasta Recipe

Blushing Penne Pasta Recipe

Margaret Wilson reworked this recipe from an original that called for vodka and heavy whipping cream. Her friends and family in Hemet, California have a hard time believing a sauce this rich, flavorful and creamy could be light.
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min. YIELD:8 servings


  • 1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups half-and-half cream, divided
  • 1/2 cup white wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided


  • 1. Cook penne according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook onions in butter for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the thyme, basil and salt; cook 1 minute longer. Add 1 cup cream, wine and tomato paste; cook and stir until blended.
  • 2. Combine flour and remaining cream until smooth; gradually stir into onion mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese. Drain penne; toss with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 cup equals 336 calories, 10 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 34 mg cholesterol, 445 mg sodium, 46 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 12 g protein.

Wine Pairings

Full-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.