Friday, June 6, 2014

Pasta alla Vodka

  • 1 pound Pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 whole medium vidalia onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 -1 cup vodka
  • 1 can (about 14 oz.) tomato puree
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • McCormack® Peppercorn Medley to taste 
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese


Start the pasta as you start the sauce and all should come out together.  Be sure not to overcook the pasta.  [I personally recommend adding a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil to the water.  Marie reminded me to stir the pasta once I add it to the boiling water to help prevent sticking.] 

Peel, cut, and purée the onion and set aside.  Peel and mince the garlic and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and butter. When butter is melted, add in minced onion and garlic. Stir and allow to cook for two minutes or once the onions have started to turn translucent. Pour in vodka. Stir and cook for three minutes. Add in tomato puree and stir.

Reduce heat to low and stir in cream. Allow to simmer, being careful not to overheat. Stir in red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water in case sauce is too thick. Add cooked pasta to the sauce, tossing to combine. Splash in a little water if it needs it. Stir in Parmesan cheese.

Pour mixture into large serving bowl. Garnish with more Parmesan cheese.

Eat it out of the serving bowl. Faint. Repeat as needed.  [I LOVE this last "direction" from Pioneer Woman!]

Myrtle's Note:   It almost goes without noting that I puréed the onion instead of merely mincing it and I opted for the use of the peppercorn medley instead of black pepper.  I also doubled the garlic, not that you could really tell.  I couldn't find the fancy pasta, but Marie and I agreed that shell pasta would help capture the tasty sauce.  We were right.  I also forgot to take a photo before we devoured our portions, but I did photograph the leftovers!

Yield:  6 servings