Tomato Vodka Sauce
A great alternative to the usual red or white pasta sauce.
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
- ⅓ cup vodka
- 1 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- fresh black pepper to taste
- 16 oz. penne pasta
- ¼ cup fresh chopped basil
- ½ cup half and half or whole cream, if you prefer
- 2 Tbs. grated parmesan cheese
- In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes and vodka and continue cooking for 5-7 minutes until slightly reduced, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Put heat on low and simmer partially covered for 20 minutes until reduced by half, stirring occasionally.
- Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Transfer tomato mixture to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Return sauce to pan along with basil and half and half, adding more if needed. Cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Stir in parmesan cheese and cooked pasta. Toss to combine.
- Serve with additional parmesan cheese and basil.
- Kitchen Tip: When it comes to tomato sauces, I usually add a tablespoons of butter and a bit of sugar to the sauce, but that's a matter of personal preference.