However, the one I got in return is absolutely perfect. When I received the email and saw the assigned recipe I maybe kinda made a squee’ing noise. I’ve wanted to try a pasta with a vodka sauce for I don’t know how long now. However, every time I wanted it, we didn’t have any vodka in the house and since we very rarely drink it, I decided it was easier to just make it some other time, rather than schlep to the liquor store for only a tiny, tiny amount.
The last time I was at the liquor store, stocking up on an unhealthy amount of wine, I noticed there were quite a few different flavored tiny bottles of vodka near the register. I grabbed a few different ones, figuring I’d eventually find a recipe that called for them. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized one of them was just plain vodka. Which works perfectly for this recipe.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 links Italian sausage
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 lb. penne pasta
- 2 tbsp. vodka
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
2. Slice the sausage into 1 1/2″ slices and add to the skillet. Cook 3-5 minutes or until browned. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, stirring until the garlic has browned.
3. Add crushed tomatoes and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook penne according to package directions. Drain.
5. Add the vodka and heavy cream to the skillet and bring to a boil again.
6. Stir in the pasta and reduce heat to low. Cook for 1 minute.
7. Stir in the basil, then serve.
I don’t know exactly what I was expecting this to taste like, but it definitely surpassed it by about a hundred times. The cream sauce was incredible and nicely lightened up when you got a piece of the basil mixed in. I was concerned this would still have a liquor flavor and Tom wouldn’t like it, but he didn’t and he actually said twice that he really enjoyed it. This is getting added to the “make again” list.