Pasta Vodka

October 16, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I still remember the first time I had vodka sauce.  I was in college on Spring Break in New Jersey, and we went out for brunch at a place with a cook-manned pasta bar.  I was probably 20 years old, and when I read the sauce options, “Vodka Sauce” certainly seemed like the most daring choice.

It was delicious.  Creamy, but not too creamy like an alfredo sauce, and still with a great tomato flavor.  Vodka sauce is an Italian sauce made from a relatively smooth tomato sauce, plus cream, vodka, and typical Italian herbs.  I knew I had to find my own version so I could make this delicious sauce at home.  This recipe is easy, delicious, seems fancy.  It reheats and even freezes great, and it is definitely one of my favorite Italian dishes.

You’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes(32 ounces)
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 16 ounces penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn

I like to serve mine with chicken, so I boil a few breasts and shred it.  Shrimp would be great too.  It’s also nice to serve with shredded parmesan, but it’s not necessary.

Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently saute shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness.

Add vodka to the pan, 3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup. Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes.

Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer.  Season with salt and pepper.  While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente.  While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.

Stir cream into sauce.  When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat.

Drain pasta.  Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves (and chicken if you’re using it).

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  1. I love the new look! Are you becoming a graphic designer in your spare time??? 🙂


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