Penne Rigate In Merlot/Vodka/Yoghurt Sauce With Pepperoni & Fresh Basil

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Fresh Basil

Fresh Basil

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My neighborhood supermarket  charges $ 3.50 for a small twig of maybe 7 basil leaves.
They sell this beautiful basil plant for $ 4.50. Kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it 🙂

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Penne Rigate In Merlot/Vodka/Yoghurt  Sauce With Pepperoni & Fresh Basil

Penne Rigate In Merlot/Vodka/Yoghurt Sauce With Pepperoni & Fresh Basil

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Ingredients :

Penne rigate,   al dente, reserve some of the cooking liquid
Pepperoni sausage,   julienned
Grape tomatoes,   quartered
Greek yoghurt,
Olive oil,
Vodka,
Merlot,
Parmigiano reggiano,   grated
Garlic,   paste
Basil,   fresh
Kosher salt,
Cayenne pepper

Method :

Saute pepperoni until starting to change color, add garlic, saute until fragrant. Add merlot and vodka, simmer until most liquid has evaporated. Add  yoghurt, tomatoes, a bit of the grated cheese, salt, pepper and the pasta,  mix well. Adjust seasoning if necessary. If too thick, add some of the pasta cooking liquid. If too thin, ad some grated cheese.
To serve, sprinkle with more cheese and basil leaves.

Note :
I am aware that most cooks will chiffonade the basil. However, personally I don’t like the texture this will give me. It reminds me of hair in the food which is not very appealing to me 😦
Therefore I like to add whole leaves which become soft and tender immediately  as they touch the hot food and give you a much more pleasant texture / mouthfeel 🙂

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

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