I’m going out on a limb here by saying I don’t like vodka, so the idea of vodka sauce never really appealed to me. I couldn’t imagine it tasting good with pasta. A few days ago, my friend Karen brought some really yummy spinach and cheese stuffed gnocchi with vodka sauce for her lunch. Of course I tried it and thought it was delicious. I was thinking about trying a new recipe for dinner this week and decided to give the vodka sauce a try. I searched for a few recipes online and ended up using one from cooks.com. I changed a few things as I went along and kept my fingers crossed. It was a very simple recipe and tasted really, really good.
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I skipped this, but may try it next time)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 pound prosciutto, chopped (I used 4 thin slices of pancetta instead)
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup heavy cream
- In a small bowl, combine vodka and red pepper flakes. Set aside for 1 hour.(see note above)
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Saute pancetta, garlic, shallots, salt and pepper until pancetta is evenly browned.
- Pour in vodka mixture, and simmer 10 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, and stir in with 2 cans of tomato sauce, parsley and basil.
- Simmer 15 minutes.
- Stir in 1 cup heavy cream, and cook 2 minutes.
1 cup of vodka seemed like a lot, so I cut it back to 3/4 cup. After tasting the sauce, I will try it with the recommended 1 cup next time. Zoe was eating with us tonight, so I did not add the crushed pepper flakes. Jose and Jason both said they’d like it with a bit of heat, so I may add them to the vodka next time, like the recipe states. I did not have prosciutto so I used thinly sliced pancetta instead. Next time, I’ll use a chunk so I can dice it better, but it worked out ok. I did not add the 1 cup of water because the sauce would have been too runny. I recommend keeping it handy just in case the sauce needs to be thinned out. Also, I am not sure 2 cans of tomato sauce are needed. I’m not even sure one is. I would cut back to one can, and then try it with out any and see if it makes a difference. Finally, in my photo you see half and half. After I took the photo, I realized I had heavy cream in the fridge so I DID use that as the recipe stated.