Monday, June 16, 2014

Creamy Vodka Sauce

Until the last year or so, I never really ate pasta. Yes, really. I know for most people, pasta is a staple in the comfort food group. However, I just never really liked the texture. Then, I discovered all these delicious sauces that go on pasta, and kind of fell in love. I've gone from eating pasta only when it was in soup, to at least once a week.

The first time I had pasta, it was with vodka sauce. All I can say is: love at first bite. I've always used the Prego vodka sauce since it's so easy, but when I saw a homemade version on Pinterest, I had to give it a shot. Surprisingly, it came together very quickly, and tasted about 100 times better than what I've ever bought at the store.

-1 tbsp olive oil
-1/2 finely chopped medium-sized onion
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 vegetable bouillon cube
-1/2 cup vodka
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
-1/4 cup whipping cream
-3 tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil
-Parmesan cheese, if desired

1. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain, and set aside. 

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion to pan, saute 4 minutes or until tender. Add pepper, garlic, and bouillon; saute 1 minute. Carefully, add vodka, and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by about half. Stir in salt and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15-20 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and let cool slightly.

3. If you have a stick blender, you can puree the sauce right in pan. If you don't, you can use a blender. Just be sure to remove the center piece to let steam escape, and put a towel over the opening to avoid splatters. Blend until smooth, and return to the pan.

4. Mix in the cream, then cook the sauce over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add cooked pasta, and top with basil, and parmesan cheese, if desired.
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