Gathering together to enjoy a meal at the family table or a sweet treat at the end of a long day is what time with loved ones is all about. Turning to beloved classics can bring everyone running to the kitchen to share the flavors of those familiar favorites.

Savor the timeless taste of pasta with this Penne Alla Vodka, a classic dish high on flavor and low on hassle so you can have a meal ready in just 30 minutes. Plus, it offers an alternative to traditional recipes by using Country Crock Plant Cream, a new dairy-free substitute for heavy whipping cream perfect for using in a variety of your favorite dishes.

Made with delicious plant-powered ingredients, it provides the taste of heavy whipping cream without the heaviness. As a 100% vegan, dairy-free and soy-free solution, it’s a 1-for-1 swap for heavy whipping cream in cooking and baking recipes, making it ideal to have on hand year-round.

When it’s time to settle down for the night, end the day on a high note with the sweetness of Strawberry Shortcake. Toss strawberries with sugar, create your own whipped plant cream and make shortcakes from scratch for a true taste of home.

Visit CountryCrock.com for more ways to elevate weeknight meals and desserts.

Penne Alla Vodka

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Servings: 5

1 tablespoon Country Crock Plant Butter with Olive Oil

½ cup chopped white or yellow onion

½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic

½ cup tomato paste

1 pinch red pepper flakes

¼ cup (2 fluid ounces) vodka

16 fluid ounces Country Crock Plant Cream

¼ cup (2 fluid ounces) water

3 cups dry penne pasta, cooked and drained

¼ cup grated vegan Parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

In a pan over moderate heat, melt plant butter. Add onions and garlic. Cover and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste and red pepper flakes. Cook until tomato paste starts to lightly brown.

Add vodka and stir well, scraping bits of browned tomato paste from the bottom of the pan. Cook over high heat until liquid is reduced by about half to concentrate flavors.

Add plant cream and water; stir to incorporate tomato paste evenly. Bring to a simmer.

Toss in cooked pasta. Add vegan Parmesan, salt and fresh basil. 

Strawberry Shortcake

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 12 minutes

Servings: 8

Strawberries:

2 pounds strawberries, hulled and sliced

6 tablespoons sugar

Whipped Plant Cream:

2 cups Country Crock Plant Cream, directly from refrigerator

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Shortcakes:

3/4 cup chilled Country Crock Plant Cream, plus additional for brushing, divided

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) Country Crock Plant Butter Sticks with Avocado Oil, melted

1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

To make strawberries: In a bowl, toss sliced strawberries and sugar. Let berries sit for 30 minutes-2 hours before serving. 

To make whipped plant cream: In a chilled bowl, using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer on high, whisk chilled plant cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until plant cream thickens and stiff peaks form.  

To make shortcakes: Preheat oven to 475 F.

In a small bowl, mix 3/4 cup plant cream and lemon juice; set aside 2-3 minutes, or until it begins to curdle.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in plant butter and plant cream mixture.

Knead dough a few times then shape into a 1-inch-tall circle. Cut the circle into eight wedges. Transfer wedges onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops of biscuits generously with additional plant cream and sprinkle turbinado sugar on top.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Biscuits should be golden brown. Cool before assembling.

Split each biscuit in half. Spoon strawberries over half of the biscuits. Add a dollop of whipped plant cream on top. Layer other biscuit halves on top followed by more strawberries and plant cream.

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