Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Vodka Sauce Recipe

One of my vices is definitely carbs, namely pasta. I am a sucker for spaghetti and a fiend for mac n' cheese. Growing up in North Jersey, I was privy to tons of homemade Italian food. Although my family is not Italian, there was no shortage of Italian Mom and Pop restaurants, and homemade dinners over at an Italian friends' house.

I know "they say" Jersey has a "reputation." What with the turnpike driving you straight through the beautiful city sights of Newark, the impatient drivers, and now, the talented cast of the Jersey Shore (who are mostly from NY, I might add). But one of the things that Jersey holds up its end of the bargain on? The food. The bagel shops, the pizzerias, the Italian Kitchens; they're all to.die.for. You could say that food is a weakness for me at times, and I don't mind; there are many days when I remember that certain foods here in Maryland just don't measure up to what I grew up on in Jersey.

So, what's a new wife to do in order to recreate some of my favorite Jersey Italian dishes at home? Well, I was lucky enough to get a vodka sauce recipe from a dear friend's Mom who just happens to be a darn good, old fashioned Italian cook! It's super simple and major yummy; and better yet? It's always a crowd pleaser!!

Vodka Sauce Recipe (yields enough for 2 lbs. of penne pasta)

2 Tbsp. butter
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 qt. heavy cream
2 cups marinara (I use most of a large can of crushed tomatoes)
Parmesan cheese
Shot of vodka (if available)
Parsley (whatever you have on hand)

Begin by lightly browning the garlic in the butter in a large pan. Before the garlic gets too brown, add heavy cream and shot of vodka. Stir well, and then add 6 Tbsp. parmesan cheese and stir. Then, add marinara and cook close to simmer.

I usually let my sauce simmer for about 15-20 minutes on low heat. If it appears too thin, add more parmesan; if the sauce is too thick, add some milk. I also add a few pinches of parsley.

Prepare 2 lbs. of penne pasta (white or wheat). Drain pasta and pour into large baking dish (I often use an aluminum throw away baker). Pour sauce over pasta and mix. Top with parmesan and parsley and bake at 300 for 10-15 minutes.

So, what do you think? Do I sound Italian now? No? Well, that's OK. This dish speaks for itself! I meant to take pictures of the finished product last week when I made it, but forgot to, oops. I promise to get better about adding pictures to these recipe posts soon! ENJOY!


Unknown said...

Yumm!! I'll have to try this out sometime soon!

kim {the non-mom blogger} said...


I am such a sucker for pasta.

Neely said...

OMG yummmy!!!!!!!

Pamela M said...

This is one of my all time favorite recipes, and it's really easy to make, too!! Let me know if you try it out and how you like it!