Boozy Pasta Sauce - Pasta Alla Vodka!

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I have a slight aversion to pasta. Which would make you wonder what I'm doing putting up a pasta sauce recipe. But surprise! Surprise! I've just figured out I can really enjoy pasta sauce without having to put up with pasta. Blame me: I don't think I've gotten the hang of cooking pasta alright. Or it could be that I don't like the packaged variety (unless its angel hair pasta). Or lets just assume, I'm real picky!

I'm in this mood for canning and bottling stuff especially since my friend got me a bunch of cute jars. So I thought I'd try a sauce this time instead of a jam. Googling around for simple sauces, I came across an entry by Pioneer Woman - Pasta alla Vodka. Who's ever heard of vodka in a pasta sauce? Not me! I'm not sure who came up with this invention but I'm game enough to try. I played it around to my taste and my measurements might not be completely accurate. A lot of times when I cook (not bake), the measurement goes "add to taste", So feel free to improvise.


1 tbsp. - Olive Oil
1 knob - Butter
1- Red Onion
8 - Garlic Cloves
1/2 cup - vodka
6 - Tomatoes
2 cups - Mushrooms (eyeballed)
1/2 cup - fresh cream
6 leaves - fresh Basil chiffonade
1 sprig -  fresh Rosemary (or rose merry as the package says)
1 tbsp. -  chilli flakes
salt & pepper to taste

  1. Finely dice onions and garlic. Puree tomatoes in a blender. Slice mushrooms and keep aside.
  2. In a heavy bottomed frying pan, over medium heat, add olive oil and butter and allow the butter to melt.
  3. Add onions and garlic and sauté for 2 mins. Do not brown.
  4. Pour in vodka. It will sizzle initially and then bubble. Hang on for around 2 mins till it reduces.
  5. Add pureed tomatoes. The tomatoes will be light pink in colour. Cook till it becomes darker and redder.
  6. Cook mushrooms till tender.
  7. Add cream and stir to get a uniform mix.
  8. To season add the basil, rosemary, chilli flakes, salt, ground pepper and stir till you get a beauty of a sauce.
  9. PS: Did I mention you have to keep tasting to get the seasoning right?
Now here comes the best part. I thought about making pasta, but I find the whole process not so worthwhile when I hit upon this idea. Why not bread? There's always bread in the fridge and in my case mostly stale bread. Well, not the mouldy kinds, but more than a day old, slightly tough and chewy bread. What better way to have it than with hot, creamy pasta sauce over it.

So I shredded the bread into a bowl, spooned sauce over it, tossed it around, let the bread absorb a lot of the sauce and topped it off with some homemade ricotta. Heaven!

I could break open the Parmesan, but that I thought would be too much for a regular weekday dinner. Also if you have the time and are so inclined, do try out this recipe by David Lebovitz to make homemade ricotta. Ricotta is just the light kind of cheese to not have you break out into a sweat about weight gain. Atleast not so much.

PS: I couldn't taste the vodka so much in the sauce. It didn't have that sharp note. In fact, the sauce was quite smooth. I'm not sure with the end product I can make out whether there was vodka to begin with or not. It does taste very different from adding wine to your sauce. But let's just conclude it's a good sauce to have in your repertoire -  creamy, silky and all things good.

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