Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Vodka Cream Pasta

I've been staring at this recipe since at least January, wanting to make it, but thinking it really needed to be a dinner for more than just me and then getting distracted by other recipes.  Finally, I had the chance to make it!  I may have hyped it up a bit too much in my head, but it is good.  I substituted whole San Marzano tomatoes, so I let the sauce cook longer and crushed the tomatoes with a spoon, but using crushed tomatoes would definitely make this dish a quick and relatively easy weeknight meal.

Vodka Cream Pasta (from Smitten Kitchen) (Adapted from Rachael Ray)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream
1 tablespoon 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 

1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
4. While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it).
5. Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta.
6. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves.

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