Pasta with Vodka Sauce

June 9, 2011 at 10:07 am 2 comments

I had a dream last night that I was “The One” (I tend to have a lot of these…), and I was traveling with Gandalf, who was leading us through the wilderness to my destiny. I’m still not sure what my destiny actually was, but it involved a lot of traveling. In the first part of my dream we traveled through the arctic wilderness, complete with mass amounts of snow and glaciers. We then made it back “home” temporarily, home being some kind of large school, where we met up with my husband and one of Gandalf’s wizard comrades, before the four of us embarked on the second part of our quest. Thinking that we would be heading back out into the arctic, I packed all my winter gear, but when Hisa and I met up with Gandalf and his wizard buddy, I found them in Hawaiian shirts and sunglasses, and discovered we were headed to the West Indies. By this time, we were already on a boat, so it was too late to go back and get the proper clothing, so instead I got really mad at Gandalf and chewed him out about it, telling him that he was SUCH a guy, because only a GUY wouldn’t think to tell me what kind of clothing I would need for our trip!

A few minutes after that I woke up.

Just sayin.

*ahem* Moving on, I made pasta with vodka sauce the other night for dinner. If you’ve never had it, it’s a delicious tomato cream sauce. I love it. The alcohol in the vodka cooks off, so no, it’s not alcoholic (I can just hear some of you cursing under your breath right now). The vodka gives it a lovely flavor, and if you don’t have any vodka lying around, you can always substitute white wine. It’ll still be really good.

I’m told that this recipe is originally from Cooks Illustrated. There have been various versions circulating food blogs, but here’s my adaptation of the recipe. 🙂

Pasta with Vodka Sauce

  • 16 oz. dried pasta (any kind will do)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes or 1/2 red chili, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 (18 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (18 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1/3 c. vodka (can substitute white wine)
  • 1/2 c. cream (can substitute milk, but will need to thicken sauce with flour or corn starch)
  • 1 lb shrimp (can substitute chicken, or leave out altogether)
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. chopped basil leaves
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, and boil pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Add oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 1 – 2 minutes.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, salt, tomato sauce, and vodka, and mix well. Simmer for about 8 – 10 minutes (this is when the alcohol cooks off).
  4. Add the shrimp (if using), and stir until cooked through.
  5. Turn off heat and gradually add the cream.
  6. Add the cooked pasta and basil, and mix well. Serve.

We enjoyed our pasta with a lettuce, asparagus, and toasted walnut salad with vinaigrette dressing, and a lovely rose wine.

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Entry filed under: Italian food, Pasta, Recipes, Vegetarian. Tags: , , , , .

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About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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