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Vodka Cream Pasta

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray.


First off, let me apologize for having no new posts in almost two weeks (and thus, having nothing but three hard boiled egg halves to stare at, hah!).  I have been trying out new dishes, but sadly, nothing has really felt blog-worthy the past few weeks.

Moving on...I came across this recipe online, and like almost all of Rachael Ray's recipes, this one delivers on flavor, is a piece of cake to put together, and had great reviews.  Sounded like a winner to me.  I've modified the recipe a bit for things I'd like to try the next time around, but the core ingredients and directions are all the same.  Lastly, don't ignore the suggestion from the original recipe (as I did) to serve this dish with some crusty garlic bread.  It'd definitely be a nice finish to the meal, as you'd be able to mop up all the leftover goodness!

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced

1 cup vodka
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 32 ounce can crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
16 oz penne rigate

3/4 cup heavy cream
20 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Begin by bringing a large pot of water to a boil.

Over medium heat, add the olive oil, butter, garlic, and shallots to a large skillet.  Saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the garlic just begins to brown.  Add the vodka to the pan and reduce by half, about 3 more minutes.  Add the chicken stock and the tomatoes, and bring to a boil.  Then reduce the heat to low.

Once your water is boiling, generously salt the water and drop your pasta.

A little before you anticipate your pasta being done (al dente in this case), add the heavy cream, basil, and Parmesan cheese to the tomato Vodka sauce and stir.  Turn the heat up to medium and cook until boiling.  Turn off the heat, drain the pasta, and combine the sauce with the pasta.  As tempting as it might be to dig in at this point (also as I did), I suggest waiting a good ten minutes or so.  This will give some time for the pasta to absorb some of the sauce/flavors, while at the same time, thicken the sauce.

When plating, garnish with any remaining basil and Parmesan cheese, and serve alongside some crusty garlic bread.

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