Monday, August 5, 2013

Vodka Sauce Mmmm, Oh and Pasta!

I love vodka sauce. It's perfect.

Tomato, cream, and just a kick of alcohol to really get you fired up. Honestly, it's probably the best idea you'll ever have - making pasta with vodka sauce for dinner.

It's tough to find a meal that includes so many of my favorite ingredients, but this baby manages to cover all the basics, while still being delicious and, well, maybe not super nutritious. Definitely delicious though.

That's it? We could throw in a little bit more ...

 Rich, creamy, sweet, spicy. Heavy cream, vodka, tomato sauce, pasta, sweet prosciutto, snow peas - oh my goodness yes. Please stop talking, I'm about to heat up the leftovers - literally, right now. I'll be back.

Okay, it's so much easier to tell you about this dish while eating it. The peas add a fresh crunch and some green. The red peppers add in a sweetness and more color. The prosciutto is delectable and just right.

It's the pasta that really does it though. A nice thick rigatoni is what you want here. You want to vegetables and meat to get caught inside those little pasta tubes. You want each bite to be a flavor explosion of ham and peas and vodka.

Serve it with garlic bread. Serve it with a spoon. Serve it with freshly grated parmesan and ground black pepper and you'll feel like you're at a classy Ristorante. Just please, for the love of your mouth and whoever you're feeding, serve vodka sauce.

Vegetable and Prosciutto Vodka Sauce


1 pound Rigatoni
1 small can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup vodka
2/3 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup minced garlic
1 cup chopped snow peas or shelled peas
3/4 cup chopped red pepper
4 oz cubed prosciutto
1/2 stick butter


Over medium heat, place shallots, garlic and about 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium sauce pan, and stir until the shallots start to get clear. Don't be alarmed, but your house will start to smell like a restaurant. 

Start boiling the water for the pasta while waiting for the shallots. I'm sure you know how to cook pasta to your liking.

Add the red peppers, prosciutto, 2 more tablespoons of butter and the vodka, and cook until the vodka mostly cooks off. Everything should glisten a little bit, but there shouldn't be liquid sloshing around in the pot.

Lovely warm colors from the peppers and prosciutto.

Dump in the can of tomato sauce, and this is where you spice to your heart's content. Add in some fresh sea, grated black pepper, a little bit of white pepper for some spice, oregano, red pepper flakes, and anything in your spice rack that seems Italian. Don't measure, just dump stuff in. It's fun. It'll be delicious.

Let this simmer for about three minutes and then add in the peas and the heavy cream. If it looks too dark, add in more cream. You just used a quarter cup of butter. Don't skimp on the cream; it's the best part. And don't use half and half or light cream or God forbid milk. It's a treat.

I could just drink the heavy cream right out of the glass, mmmm.

Let this just sit on warm until everything else is ready. Make some garlic bread by spreading butter, minced garlic, garlic powder, a little cracked pepper and some oregano on sliced Italian bread. Put it in the toaster oven on medium. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

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