This weekend I am planning on embodying my inner Rachel Ray when I attempt to make her “You Won’t Be Single For Long” Vodka Cream Pasta for an oh-so-special friend of mine. I’m certainly not the best cook around, nor do I get much practice, but this dish appears to not be too much of a difficult reach for my (lack thereof) kitchen skills. When it comes to trying out new recipes, I prefer somewhat simple preparations but an end result that is certainly delicious. And everyone loves a good ‘ol pasta dish so how hard can it be right? If you feel like trying to one up me then by all means try out this dish and tell me what you think. In the meantime, wish me luck!
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
- Coarse salt and pepper
- 16 oz pasta, such as penne rigate
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn
- Crusty bread, for passing
Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil, butter, garlic and shallots. Gently sauté the shallots for 3-5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add the vodka to the pan – three turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup. Reduce the vodka by half, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and the tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While the pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.
Stir the cream into the sauce. When the sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from the heat. Drain the pasta. Toss the hot pasta with the sauce and the basil leaves. Pass the pasta with crusty bread.