This recipe is part of our regular rotation of meals. We make it at least once every two weeks. It has also been a work in progress. The original recipe was a Rachel Ray recipe and it was mediocre at best. So we improved on it. Now its an amazing dish. When you look at the ingredients, you'll notice that we use two cups of vodka. No that is not a misprint. We discovered that using that much and cooking it down was the best option for us. Also we played around with different vodkas but noticed not much differences between the expensive and inexpensive brands. So we just use the cheapest vodka we can find. When you cook down the vodka, make sure you cook it until you can't smell the alcohol anymore. We made a mistake once where we didn't cook it down enough and almost got drunk off the pasta!
Try this and you wont be disappointed!
Pasta ala Vodka
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
5 cloves chopped garlic
2 shallots or 1 small yellow onion - chopped
2 cups vodka
1 (32 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
16 oz. Penne Rigate, Farfalle, Mostaccoli or Rigatoni (these are my favorites)
3/4 cup heavy cream
20 leaves basil - chopped
Cook pasta in salted water while cooking the sauce. Set aside.
Heat large pot over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic and shallots. Saute garlic and shallots for 3-5 minutes. Add vodka to pan, turn heat to high and reduce by half (about 10 minutes after it comes to a boil). Reduce heat to medium, add crushed tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir cream into sauce and season with salt and pepper. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove from heat.
Toss hot pasta and basil leaves into sauce. If needed, let pasta sit for 5 minutes to thicken the sauce. I like to make garlic bread while it thickens. Enjoy! Yum yum.