Bucatini alla Vodka
I went for a drive in the country today. I started on the highway and got up to a great cruising speed with some good driving tunes to egg me on. I drove eastward, in the direction of home (as I call the place of my birth and childhood) but knowing that I couldn’t go all the way there I settled for some rain soaked gravel roads. They were just gravelly enough to be fun and rutted enough to jostle my body to wake me up. Then I went home for breakfast and back to real life. I’m a prairie girl at heart and the prairie roads will always bring me home.
For some, any pasta is a comforting ‘home’ like dish. I know that when I ask my kids what they want for dinner 9/10 times they will request pasta. I used to buy some really great Vodka pasta sauce but then I decided that it really wasn’t that difficult to make. The whole family was really happy with my little experiment and I think I lucked out in finding such a great recipe on the first go. I’m not a big fan of Rachel Ray and the title of this recipe is ridiculous but it is delicious and that is what counts in the end.
Vodka Sauce (adapted from Rachel Ray)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlice, finely minced
1 cup vodka
1 cup chicken stock
32 oz. crushed tomatoes (I had some passata and a smaller can of crushed tomatoes and it was fine)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves; shredded or torn
Start by sautéing your onion until it’s translucent, then add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the vodka and allow it to reduce by half. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes (and/or passata) and bring to a simmer. Season. While the sauce is simmering cook your pasta according to directions. I used Bucatini which is a long pasta like spaghetti but with a hole running through the center.
Add the cream to the sauce and bring up to temperature. Drain your pasta and toss it in the sauce, along with the torn fresh basil leaves. Enjoy!By the way, if you’re single and you make this for a special someone and it works out, do let me know. Rachel Ray might just be on to something!