We spent 6 1/2 hours in the car coming back from Cape Cod, it should have taken 5. It was already 7:30, so I made a quick pasta dish which I call Faux Penne alla Vodka. Faux Penne alla Vodka is for when you really, really don’t have any time because regular Penne alla Vodka is already pretty quick to make, I like the Lidia Bastianich recipe.

• Faux Penne Alla Vodka •
(Makes enough for 1/2 lb of pasta)
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup half and half (or light, heavy or whipping cream)
salt & pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a small skillet over low heat. Add the tomato paste and stir to blend with the melted butter. Add cream, salt and pepper. I’m pretty heavy-handed with the salt in this dish, because it’s just a  low sauce to pasta ratio. Taste for seasoning. Drain pasta and toss with a little butter or oil. Add sauce and stir to coat pasta. Yum. This sauce is really good on ravioli too. 

I also made radicchio salad with balsamic dressing (honey, balsamic vinegar, salt, olive oil) topped with loads of grated pecorino and simple sauteed cabbage (olive oil, garlic, red peper flakes, lemon, salt).