Pasta al Vodka from Lee

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[Buddy Valastro's Rigatoni al Vodka] [Tony Rosenfeld's Rigatoni with Spicy Tomato-Vodka Sauce]

Pasta Sauce with Tomatoes and Cream

Pasta al VodkaPasta al Vodka is my most requested recipe. I give friends my recipe, but they often still want me to make it because they say theirs does not taste like mine!? So, here's my recipe with my tips.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic chopped
1 28 oz. can plum tomatoes
1/2 c. vodka
1/2 Tbs. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. heavy cream at room temperature
salt and pepper to taste

1 lb fettucine, cooked al dente (You can use penne or rigatoni if you like.)

2 Tbs. fresh parsley chopped
freshly grated imported Parmigiano al Reggio

Sauté onion in oil until yellow (4 min.). Add garlic and sauté another minute. Add tomatoes, red pepper, vodka and cream. Cook until reduced about 5+ minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over cooked fettucine. Garnish with parsley.

Pasta al VodkaEileen's secrets or the answer to "I made it, but mine didn't taste as good as yours?"
Use high quality plum tomatoes, look for a brand which is not loaded with puree. Do not use any tomato paste. Absolutely NEVER even come close to burning anything. PALE yellow describes the color of your sauteed garlic and onion, never brown. Red pepper should still be red. Better raw then burnt. I actually add my red pepper flakes before the tomatoes and push around a couple of seconds with my spatula. I changed recipe to have people add with the tomatoes because they burn the red pepper and then never want to make it again themselves and drive me crazy asking me to make it all the time. Boring. High quality ITALIAN olive oil, like Berio Extra Virgin (no you need not use gourmet luxury olive oil which is for dipping) do not use any oil which is not Italian. Use good pasta - like Barilla - and cook it al dente - do not even think of going over the time on package. When you drain the pasta, do not drain it too dry. Serve immediately with freshly grated imported Parmigiano al Reggio and chopped fresh parsley. If you follow all these directions, your pasta al vodka should be as good as mine which I do as I did in Rome. You can cut down on the cream if you like.

January 18, 2012