Thursday, March 5, 2009

Vodka with a Twist

Who doesn't love vodka? So it's no wonder why everybody loves vodka sauce. I remember my Uncle Rick making this sauce at a party many years ago. I believe he added pancetta to his while sauteeing the shallots. I omitted them in this version to be vegetarian friendly, but by all means, feel free to put in some bacon or pancetta to make this sauce even richer. Also, if you are trying to make this a bit more healthy, feel free to substitute half and half for cream. This recipe makes enough sauce for at least 2 pounds of pasta, so if you don't need that much, cut it in half or freeze some. Enjoy!

Penne with Vodka Sauce

2 large cans crushed tomatoes (28oz cans)
3 Cups Water
1 Cup Vodka
2 shallots chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Cup heavy cream
1 Cup fresh basil leaves chopped
1 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat large saucepan over medium heat and add olive oil. Saute shallots and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add vodka, reduce heat, and simmer until alcohol evaporates off and onion mixture is thick. Add tomatoes and water. Simmer for 30 minutes until mixture becomes thicker and tomatoes taste sweet to the taste. Add cream and continue to cook 10 minutes. Add fresh basil and Parmesan, stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Take sauce off heat and let sit 15 minutes. Toss with Pasta and serve.