Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pasta w/ vodka sauce

Here is another one of my favorite recipes for pasta. It comes courtesy of Rachel Ray.

What I really like about this recipes is that the sauce is done in the amount of time it takes to cook the pasta! Of course the cream and the butter make the recipe. The alcohol in the vodka burns off leaving a rich sweet flavor to the sauce. Do not skimp on the vodka. And be sure to let it burn off entirely (you can smell and taste when it is ready because the sharpness of the alcohol will be gone).

Pasta w/ vodka sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 16 ounces pasta, such as penne rigate
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn
Serve with:
  • Crusty bread and a green salad

Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic and shallots. Gently saute shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan (3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup). Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente. While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.

Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves. Serve pasta with crusty bread and a green salad.

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