Saturday, February 8, 2014

Vodka Pasta Sauce

I wanted something creamy yet bright to top the Pumpkin Ravioli.  With several large cherry tomatoes ripening the last week of January, I was able to amass enough to pull off a batch of sauce.  Sure, I could have bought a can.  Most recipes use canned, crushed tomatoes in their juice.  I figured these would be cooking long enough that it wouldn't matter if I used fresh.

I had no idea how much vodka you use in a vodka sauce.  Can't stress enough that it should be cooked a minimum of half an hour.  Otherwise, you're going to have to collect keys.

Because I was putting this on the pumpkin ravioli, I didn't want to overwhelm the flavors in the pasta.  This has less of a tomato flavor and different spices than a sauce you would use over a plain pasta.  I would use the multi-purpose Italian Seasoning then.  For this, I decided that a hint of cumin would be a good savory complement to the pumpkin and spinach.

1 Tb olive oil
*1 clove garlic, minced
1 large shallot, minced
*1 C unflavored vodka
*2 C diced tomatoes
*1 C low-salt vegetable or chicken broth
1/4 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 C cream

1.  Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook garlic and shallot until they begin to soften.

2.  Stir in vodka and allow to boil.  Once it has reduced by half, add tomatoes, broth, and cumin.  Allow to simmer and reduce until tomatoes are fully cooked and alcohol has cooked off, about 30 minutes.

3.  Stir in cream and return to a low simmer.  Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.  Serve hot over pasta.

Makes about 2 cups

Difficulty rating  π

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