Kelly the Culinarian: Cooking with Kelly: Vodka pasta

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Cooking with Kelly: Vodka pasta

I was recently invited to a wonderful little dinner party hosted by my friend Lauren. For my portion of the meal, I brought a blueberry cheesecake that I blogged about last week. But it paled in comparison to Lauren's main course.

She whipped up this wonderful vodka pasta that you see here. It was utterly delightful. Most of the vodka cooks off, although it's impossible to cook it all out. It leaves a distinct tang in the creamy tomato sauce. Lauren used whole wheat pasta with this, which absorbed some of the sauce after combining. The dish was absolutely wonderful and believe me, there was definitely nothing leftover.

She said she will make this for the guy she wants to marry someday and I totally marry her after this dinner. She was generous enough to share the recipe, which you see below. This is a fancy looking entree and completely delicious, two thumbs up!

Penne Pasta with Vodka Sauce (Serves 4)

Here's what you will need:

1 tomato
1/2 onion
1 garlic clove
1 bottle pasta sauce (I use four-cheese)
1/4 cup cream
1 cup vodka
Red pepper flakes
Italian seasoning
2 tbs olive oil
1 box penne pasta

Finely chop the onions, tomato and garlic. Place the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat until it's hot enough (to test, drop apiece of onion and it should immediately sizzle). Saute the garlic and onions for about 8 minutes until fairly soft. Add tomato, seasoning and red pepper flakes. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add pasta sauce and vodka. Simmer for 30-40 minutes.
IMPORTANT: Unless you like a kick to your pasta, it is important to let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes until it reduces and the alcohol has evaporated. It's called vodka sauce for the flavor, not for the alcohol. Otherwise the sauce will taste bitter.

When the sauce has reduced, add 1/4 cup of cream and simmer for another 10 minutes or so. The sauce should be thick and creamy. Serve over penne pasta with lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


FH said...

Whoa!!! Vodka Pasta sounds and looks great for weekend meal!:))

Sylvia said...

I like this pasta sauce, I will try to do .I had a full bottle of Absolut vodka we never drink vodka,we bought just in case...

A Mature Student said...

Looks good but ONE cup of vodka? *hic, hic, hic...* :)

I suppose the alcohol would all evaporate away. Can you taste vodka? I thought vodka is an alcohol that is tasteless. Please correct me if I am wrong.

tigerfish said...

I added some beer (lager) into tomato-based sauce with minced beef before for my pasta dish. I know THIS is only going to be GOOD! Yummy!

Marianne said...

My husband loves pasta w/ vodka sauce but I aways try to shy away from it b/c of the cream and fat content and tend to go for "lighter" pasta sauces. This sounds so good I might have to try it anyway. Everything in moderation, right?!

cocovan said...

For a quicker option, add the vodka along with the seasoning and the pepper flakes. The alcohol will burn of in a couple of minutes (as it is the only real liquid in the pan). Add your jar of sauce and heat through - ready!

Rather than a jar of sauce, throw in a can of chopped tomatoes and a teaspoon of sugar and reduce a bit and finally, some fresh basil towards the end for a preservative free alternative.

LTodd said...

This is a once in a blue moon dish b/c it is so damn rich and delicious. But for the record, I got the recipe from my old roommate, who I would marry if I were gay.