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The Mysterious Origins Of Penne Alla Vodka
Many Italian restaurant menus in the US include penne alla vodka — made with penne pasta and a vodka sauce. The wide popularity of Penne alla vodka makes it the fourth most popular pasta dish in North America. However, because of its popularity in America, some assert that penne alla vodka was actually invented in New York and two people lay claim to its invention.
Paula Franzese claims that her father Chef Luigi Franzese of NY’s Orsini Restaurant had invented the penne alla vodka in the 1970s, while trying to thin a sauce when he mixed some vodka in it to do so. The second and the more popular claim is that James Doty, a Columbia University graduate, invented penne alla vodka in the 1980s.
Two Italian chefs also claim to have invented the saucy pasta dish. Pasquale Bruno Jr. says that penne alla vodka was invented in Bologna at a restaurant called Dante. Again, the cookbook "Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian" claims that it was a Roman chef who invented the dish for a vodka brand that wanted to popularize the drink in the country.