Gnocchette With Mushrooms, Rapini And Vodka Cream Sauce



This is a variation on a traditional Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce. It is so good, quick and easy. Use any pasta shape you prefer.

* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 1 pound cremini or other mushrooms, sliced
* 6 large cloves garlic, minced
* 4 cups coarsely chopped rapini, about 1 pound before cleaning
* 1/2 cup very thinly sliced red pepper, cut into 1-inch lengths
* 1 cup vodka
* 1-1/2 cups whipping cream
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 1 tablespoon dried basil (use fresh if available)
* Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper half way through cooking. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the remaining oil to the pan and heat. Add the garlic, rapini, salt and pepper. Cover and cook until rapini is slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Remove lid and add the red pepper strips. Sauté about 5 minutes. Return the mushrooms to the pan and cook until heated, about 2 minutes. Pour in the vodka and cook about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the cream, basil, salt and pepper to taste. Cook just until the cream comes to a boil. Stir in the drained pasta and a little of the pasta water. Stir well to combine. Serve immediately, passing the cheese separately.