On Tuesday night, I made “You Won’t be Single for Long” Vodka Pasta. Just like Engagement Chicken, this pasta supposed to have magical powers when it comes to your love life. Magical powers aside, it is delicious.
I planned on making vodka pasta for Billy and I on the Thursday before our wedding. After working late, I ran out of time and energy. I ended it up making it when we returned from our post-wedding trip to Door County. With a whole cup of vodka and a half a cup of cream, it is definitely a meal for a special occasion.
Start by boiling some salted water and cooking your pasta. I used this mezzi canneroni. I love shopping at the local italian market, they have so many pasta shapes to choose from.
Meanwhile, chop up a couple of cloves of garlic and a few shallots. I used my Braun food processor for the first time. My Grandma gave it to us as a wedding gift. It is amazing. It’s really quiet, has tons of attachments. Plus, you can adjust the speed depending on what you are chopping.
Sauté the chopped garlic and shallots in olive oil and butter. The original recipe says minced garlic, but I have officially stopped pressing garlic or cutting garlic in little pieces. I think it just burns too easily when the pieces are small. You still get great (non-burnt) garlic flavor with a rough chop or crush.
Add the vodka and reduce it by half. I turn up the heat at this point because I am impatient. After the vodka reduces, add the vegetable broth and tomatoes. Lately I have used these La Bella San Marzano whole tomatoes. They are not as expensive as other San Marzano tomatoes, but they have great flavor. Plus, the can looks cute in my pantry.
If you use whole tomatoes like me, you’ll have to mash them up a bit. A potato masher works great, but a spoon will work too. I pour in all the tomato juice too, why waste it?
Cook the sauce until it is rather thick. You want it to really stick to the pasta. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. To finish the sauce off, stir in a half a cup of cream.
Once it returns to a boil, turn off the heat and gently stir your pasta in. Serve in bowls topped with a little parmesan and basil. The original recipe calls for stirring the basil in, but I don’t like my basil too wilted.
I served this pasta with a salad of red sail lettuce, arugula, cilantro and radishes. I am especially proud because the entire salad was from my garden.
Here’s what I made:
- 16 ounces pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 28 ounce can whole tomatoes (or crushed if you like)
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 bunch of basil, rolled up and cut into ribbons
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a large pan, sauté garlic and shallots until golden. Add vodka, and cook until it reduces by half.
- Add the vegetable broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Allow to simmer, breaking up tomatoes and stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- When sauce is fairly thick, stir in cream. Allow it to come to a simmer again, then turn off the heat. Gently stir in pasta.
- Serve, topped with parmesan and basil.