Neighborhood Haunts & Penne alla Vodka with Shrimp

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When I first moved into my new apartment, I was a little wary of my neighborhood… we live on the border of Clinton Hill (a little posh and quite classy) and Bed-Stuy (not so posh or fancy). I mean Jay-Z grew up less than 10 blocks from where we live. When I mention I live where I live, people tend to give me a concerned look – it was a scary place to live at one time or another. But, a) I live on the border (that is the key word here) and b) the neighborhood is changing.

In the winter, it was a ghost town, but now with the weather getting warmer, people are always out and about. There’s a small garden a block away and on Saturday afternoons a blues/jazz band is always playing. People bring food and sit and listen for hours. The few restaurants in our block radius are now bustling. Our neighborhood is suddenly alive and I love it! I wouldn’t trade my little enclave for anywhere else.

One of my new favorite restaurants in my neighborhood is Colador Cafe. My roommate and I went here on a whim one night and discovered that this little cafe/coffee shop has a great vibe and also amazing food. Their penne alla vodka sauce with shrimp is to die for (but more on that later) as is everything else we’ve tried too. Plus it’s a great place to come and hang out – grab a beer or do some blogging or meet random people in our neighborhood. I will also admit I may be in love with the owner/manager and sometimes I just got to go to Colador… for a little eye candy. A girl has needs!

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 Even Four Square is judging my new crush.

But anyway, we had shrimp left over from our haul from the Mermaid Garden CSF and after we made shrimp scampi, I decided why not make penne alla vodka sauce ourselves? I’ve never made it and I’m always up for a challenge (mind you, this challenge wasn’t very hard).

So a few weekend ago, for our Sunday night meal, I made this awesome pasta dish and a little heirloom tomato bruschetta appetizer too!

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Tomato Bruschetta

Penne alla Vodka with Shrimp

2 tbsp olive oil

1 lb shrimp, cleaned and devined

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ onion, chopped

1 cup vodka

½ cup chicken broth

1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes

1/3 cup heavy cream

½ cup chopped fresh basil

salt and pepper to taste

1 pound penne pasta

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Penne alla Vodka with Shrimp

Saute shrimp until pink and tender in olive oil over medium heat. Set aside.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Penne alla Vodka with Shrimp

Saute garlic and onion in olive oil over medium heat until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in vodka and reduce, about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, basil and crushed tomatoes. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Penne alla Vodka with Shrimp

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Penne alla Vodka with Shrimp

Stir cream in sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer 10 minutes more until thick.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Penne alla Vodka with Shrimp

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Toss shrimp and pasta with sauce. Garnish with cheese and chopped basil.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Penne alla Vodka with Shrimp

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Penne alla Vodka with Shrimp

Penne alla Vodka with Shrimp
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb shrimp, cleaned and devined
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 cup vodka
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound penne pasta
Instructions
  1. Saute shrimp until pink and tender in olive oil over medium heat. Set aside.
  2. Saute garlic and onion in olive oil over medium heat until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in vodka and reduce, about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, basil and crushed tomatoes. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Stir cream in sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer 10 minutes more until thick.
  4. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  5. Toss shrimp and pasta with sauce. Garnish with cheese and chopped basil.
 

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