Gemelli Alla Vecchia Bettola

Originally named: Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola –  means: “Old Tavern or ‘Pens of the Old Tavern’ or Tavern pasta. – pasta in Vodka Sauce recipe with Oven Roasted Tomato.

Pinterested recipe that I’ve made my own with credit to the famous East Hampton’s restaurant: Nick and Toni’s, featured by Ina Garten on Food Network – Barefoot Contessa. This is not the quickest, simplest tomato sauce in the books, but it is worth your Sunday to cook it up – no doubt about it!

Serves 4-5 normal people, 3 Pitaro’s tops.

Need a blender, oven, stove top, pan that can go in the oven safely, oven mitts, strainer, sharp knife for chopping, garlic crusher, cheese grater, measuring cups, mezza-luna and a partridge in a pear tree.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin (I just coated the pan and then some)
  • 1 yellow onion medium , chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes(depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 12-15 Roma tomatoes(depending on size), diced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shredded (I went lighter on the cheese because I felt the cream did enough and I didn’t want to take away the freshness of the tomato flavor too much)
  • 3/4 pound penne pasta (I used Gemelli but use any noodle you like!)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parsley or fresh oregano to garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F;
  2. In an ovenproof skillet heat up olive oil, add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes until translucent; Took me a little longer, personally, closer to 7-8 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and chili flakes (I like spicy, but feel free to go lighter on this if you can’t handle the heat!) and oregano and cook for another minute;
  4. Add vodka and let it cook until reduced by half, about 5-7 minutes; This took me, once again, a little bit longer to really feel like the vodka was diminishing.
  5. In the meantime cut up the tomatoes;
  6. Add the diced tomatoes to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes;
  7. Cover the pan with the fitted lid and transfer to the oven;
  8. Roast for 1 hour and a half; I got impatient and only roasted for 1 hour and it turned out terrific, but do what feels right. When you take it out of the oven, it doesn’t look pretty, so be patient, and be so careful!
  9. Cook pasta according to instructions but 1 minute less (you want to finish cooking it in the sauce);
  10. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and puree in a blender (be careful to cover the blender tightly with kitchen towels and do not fill up more than 1/3rd at the time);
  11. Once all the sauce is blended, place it in the pan and add cream;
  12. Mix together and let cook for about 3 minutes; This is the best part and most insta-worthy moment. Great boomie opportunity 😉
  13. Add grated cheese and season with salt and pepper;
  14. Add pasta to the sauce, mix well and let it cook for another minute; The noodles really absorb the flavor – it’s fabulous.
  15. Sprinkle with fresh Parsley, more cheese (if you want!) and pepper and serve immediately. I didn’t take the “serve immediately” part serious enough my first go-around cause I was waiting for guests to arrive. The quicker your plated and enjoying the better with this sauce. It can get a little dry if it sits too long, in my opinion. If you can’t serve immediately, save some of the water from boiling the pasta to add to the pan while sitting, keeping on low heat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close