Spiked Spaghetti with Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce
Serving Size / Yield
- 1/2 lb. dry thin spaghetti pasta or any other pasta
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 C. finely chopped onion or 2 to 3 shallots
- scant 1 tsp. salt, divided
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper or 1 dried red chili, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 C. vodka
- 1/4 C. vegetable or chicken broth
- one 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/4 C. whipping cream
- 3 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh basil
- shaved or grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish
- additional fresh basil leaves (optional)
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and keep warm. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add vodka (when cooking with alcohol, there is always the chance of it catching on fire, so be very careful); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by about half. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and let cool slightly.
If you have stick blender, you can now puree the sauce right in the pan (easy peasy!). Otherwise, place tomato mixture in a conventional blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); and secure the lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters), and process until smooth.
Return tomato mixture to pan. Mix in cream, then cook the sauce for 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked pasta, scant 1/4 teaspoon salt, and basil. Taste the pasta and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve immediately.