After rummaging through my cupboards for dinner inspiration (and failing), I turned to the Great Google God (GGG). I searched “tomatoes, vodka, heavy cream, onions” on a lark and ended up finding this offensively named recipe by Rachel Ray (seriously, horrible).
Despite finding such… icky inspiration, the fact that “vodka cream sauce” is a THING was actually new to me (Italian food was not a staple for me while growing up). So I Googled several recipes, tweaked a bunch, and ended up with a really lovely, brightly flavored dish.
The key here is to reduce the living daylights out of it. And keep on reducing. And reducing. And. Yeah.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 4 Tablespoons squeeze-bottle garlic
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 2 cups vodka
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 6 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons squeeze-bottle basil
- 2 lbs thick pasta (penne, rotini, etc)
- Combine olive oil, butter, garlic, and onions in a large saucepan and cook until onions have softened (5-10 minutes).
- Add in vodka and simmer until reduced by half. Stir occasionally.
- Add chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and honey.
- Reduce, reduce, reduce by simmering for about 20 minutes or until reduced by about ⅔. Stir often and do not allow to burn. This is a good time to start the pasta and make a side dish (we usually have garlic bread).
- Stir in cream and basil until sauce just begins to bubble, then remove from heat.
- Serve over pasta and enjoy!
She lives in the Bay Area and cites her diverse background as her biggest influence: her visual artist mom is half-Chinese, half-Greek, and from Hawai’i; her film-loving, world-music curating dad is from Montana; and she lived in both California and Montana while growing up. She loves at least a little bit about virtually everything (Pokémon Snap included) and aims to be a Jane of all trades. By day Cat is a multiple-hat-wearing media person.
She is also allergic to felines.