That said, I do try to change up the recipe to throw in different veggies or sauces. This spaghetti with vodka cream sauce is a recent addition to my repertoire. Not only does it come "boy-approved" (Dave agreed, too), but I think you guys may remember my fascination with baking and booze? Stovetop cooking with the hard stuff turns out to be equally delicious.
This sauce is very tangy and creamy, despite the small volume of heavy cream it calls for. The crushed red pepper adds a good amount of heat, too; next time, I might use less than the quarter teaspoon listed below. Otherwise, the recipe is quick, easy and — topped off with some grated Parmesan — pretty perfect. I served it with meatballs.
Spaghetti With Vodka Cream Sauce
recipe slightly adapted from 6 Bittersweets
1/2 pound angel-hair pasta (or whatever pasta you like)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
scant 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
scant 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup vodka
1/4 cup vegetable (or chicken) broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish
additional fresh basil leaves, to garnish
Boil the pasta in salted water. Drain and keep warm.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté four minutes, or until tender. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and garlic; sauté about one minute. Carefully add the vodka (mine didn't catch on fire, but be cautious); bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer roughly three minutes, or until the liquid reduces by about half. Stir in scant 1/2 teaspoon salt, broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Transfer the tomato mixture to a blender and process until smooth. (Be cautious when blending hot liquids; you may want to throw a kitchen towel over the lid just in case.) Return to the pan.
Stir in the heavy cream, then cook the sauce for two minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in cooked pasta and basil. Taste pasta and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve with Parmesan cheese and extra basil, if desired.