Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook penne according to package directions and set aside.
In another pot, add the olive oil and sauté the garlic and onions over low heat, for about 6 to 7 minutes until they begin to shimmer. Add the diced tomatoes and vodka, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring until the alcohol has evaporated. Add the cashews, vegetable stock, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook covered for 25 minutes.
Once sauce is finished cooking, carefully remove the pot from the heat. Transfer the sauce to a blender (or use an immersion hand blender in the pot). Blend in high until the sauce becomes thick and creamy.
Toss sauce with penne and serve hot. Garnish with fresh chopped basil, cracked pepper, and enjoy.
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