Friday, April 11, 2008

Penne with Vodka Sauce

From Italian Classics by the Editors of Cooks Illustrated magazine

1 28 oz can diced or whole tomatoes I used 2-14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/4 t sugar
1 lb pasta

1. If using whole tomatoes, coarsely chop them.
2. Add 1t water to the garlic I didn't. Heat 2 T oil and the garlic in a 10" saute pan over medium heat until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes; simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in the basil, sugar, and 1/2t salt.
3. Meanwhile, bring 4 qt water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add 1T salt and the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/4c cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Mix in the reserved cooking water, sauce, and remaining oil; cook together over medium heat for 1 min, stirring constantly.

OK, now take this recipe and make these modifications to make it a vodka sauce...

Add 1/4t crushed red pepper flakes with the garlic. Halfway through the 10 minute simmer, add 1/2c vodka. Add 1c heavy cream and ground black pepper (to taste) along with the remaining seasonings.

Transfer the sauce to a food processor I did it in three batches and pulse to a coarse puree. Return to the pan; simmer over medium heat to thicken, 2-3 min.

My father in law, perhaps the world's pickiest eater, who has not liked anything I've made yet, was coming over for dinner. I had planned chicken, which he doesn't eat, for dinner that night, so had to find something I could make without a trip to the grocery store, that he would eat. I had this cookbook out from the library, and so flipped through for some ideas. This is what I came up with. Not only did he eat it, but he also went back for seconds!

This was really stinking good. It took me about 30 minutes from start to finish. Cooks Illustrated is quickly becoming my go to source for cooking; I might have to ask for a subscription to their mag for my birthday. I tasted the sauce before serving and thought it tasted a little too vodka-y, but somewhere along the way that taste dissipated and the sauce was fantastic. BAJ made some garlic bread, which was fantabulous and a perfect touch to go along with this sauce.

A definite keeper in the Feisty home!

1 comment:

eatme_delicious said...

Ooo yum I've been wanting to try a tomato vodka sauce.

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