|Pasta of your choice
|canned crushed tomatoes
|whipping cream or half and half
|Shredded Parmesan Cheese
|3/4 cup plus more for the sprinkling at the end
|red pepper flakes-optional
|salt and pepper to taste if desired
|extra Parmesan cheese and fresh basil for serving
Sometimes you need comfort food and Pasta with Creamy Vodka Sauce it is. Any pasta will do! This sauce comes together with mostly pantry ingredients and makes even week nights feel special.
- Put a big pot of water on to boil and make sure there is plenty of salt in the water.
- While the pasta water is getting hot, place your butter, garlic, and onion into a large skillet over medium heat. Allow them to cook for 5 to 6 minutes until they are soft. You do not them to get any color so make sure you’re stirring them every few minutes.
- Right at the end of their cooking, add a tablespoon or so of red pepper flakes to the hot pan. If your like things spicy, this will wake up the flavor. You should also add in your dried basil at this time.
- When the garlic and onions are soft, lift the pan off the stove and add the vodka, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste to the pan. Place then pan back on the heat and stir to combine. I do use a little water or extra vodka to swirl into the cans to make sure I remove all the tomato goodness. I just add it all into the sauce.
- Let the sauce cook for about 15 minutes. Remember, the sauce should wait for the pasta and not the pasta for the sauce.
- Meanwhile begin to cook your pasta according to the box directions. I used homemade fettuccine in my pasta dish, but any shape will work. I will link the Food Network recipe that I used at the bottom of this. Traditionally penne is used in this, but I wanted to try out my new pasta cutter.
- Taste the sauce to make sure the alcohol flavor has cooked out. If it hasn’t give it a little more time. Add the cream or half and half, and 3/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and turn down the heat. Please do not use the canned stuff! It will not work! Fresh is best!
- Cook the noodles until they are almost done. Then carefully, using tongs or a pasta scoop, lift the hot pasta out of the water, let it drip for a second, and place it into the hot sauce. You will have to do this a few times, but I promise, it’s worth it.
- Once all the pasta is in your sauce, gently mix into the sauce and let it cook for another minute or 2. By finishing the pasta in the sauce, you’re enhancing the flavor.
- Taste to ensure you have enough salt and pepper and or red pepper flakes.
- Scoop the pasta into bowl and top with additional cheese, fresh basil, and more red pepper flakes if desired.
*If you do not like spicy things, just do not use red pepper flakes and add black pepper. I love things spicy, so I use a good tablespoon or so of red pepper flakes in this.
*Please use good cheese. This sauce will not work with canned cheese.
*If you don’t have crushed tomatoes, just puree up some whole or diced tomatoes instead. It will be fine.
*Any pasta will work. Penne is traditional, but it doesn’t really matter in this. Food Network Pasta Dough
*Want to round out this meal? Sauteed spinach, asparagus, or broccoli is great in this. Chicken and shrimp also work well.
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