Sunday, August 28, 2011

Vodka Sauce

I was in the third grade. The D.A.R.E. program had been educating our class on the perils of drugs and alcohol. Clearly, I hadn't needed such elementary instruction considering my (scandalous) exposure to such addictive substances from an early age. I mean, we were Italian. Limoncello was for "dessert" and scotch was for teething babies.

So imagine my lack of concern when they asked, "Do any of your parents keep alcohol in the house?" Needless to say, I outed my own mother to the D.A.R.E. officers...

"My mom puts vodka in her sauce!" I proudly exclaimed.

Today, I am just as proud to say that I put my very own vodka in my sauce! When I moved out of my parents home at the young age of 19, my mom bought me an enormous jug of vodka (for vodka Sauce) since I couldn't legally buy my own! And really, most of it was used for Vodka Sauce!

All kidding aside, Vodka Sauce is truly one of my top favorite family recipes. All my friends wanted to eat over at my house for Mom's Penne A La Vodka. And it won my husband's heart when we were dating (to the heart, through the stomach!) And so today, I am sharing it with you.

Woo your lovers without intoxicating them with my recipe for Vodka Sauce.


4 TBSP olive oil (enough to coat the onions)
2 TBSP butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1 28 oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes (I recommend San Marzano varieties)
1 cup vodka, divided
1 cup heavy cream

Saute the onions in the oil and the butter on medium heat until transparent (Do Not Brown). Add 1/2 cup of the vodka. Cook out the alcohol (about 5 minutes). Add the tomatoes and blend with a hand blender. Add the remaining vodka. Simmer for 45 minutes. Then, slowly stir in the heavy cream (not while boiling). Serve over penne or your favorite pasta! MANGIA!

*NOTE: Should you wish to freeze this sauce ahead of time, do so before adding the cream. Otherwise, when you defrost it for use, the cream will break. When ready to use, thaw your frozen vodka sauce and add the heavy cream just before serving. I love keeping this on hand for nights when a marinara might not sound as exciting:)


Anonymous said...

Instead of whole tomatoes can you use crushed tomatoes to skip the step of using a hand blender?

una mamma italiana said...

Of course! As long as you don't mind the texture of the onions in there. If you used crushed tomatoes, just mince the onions a bit finer. When I make this with whole peeled tomatoes, i roughly chop the onions rather large, since I know I am blending in the end.

Your idea would definitely work - just watch it a bit closer so the smaller pieces of onions to not brown! Good luck!

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