I need to get something off my chest. I'm afraid I am *that* girl. Much like the Princess and the Pea, I'm the girl who can taste the faintest amount of alcohol in any beverage or recipe and...and...I don't like it. There, I said it. But not true with this here recipe!! That goes in the win column for sure, right? This dish was actually good. Although I have to admit I didn't quite think it lived up to all the hype it received from PW. The husband called it bland. The 7 yr old said it was good. Really good! Even better than tomato soup and noodles (his favorite food I'll have you know!). Until he bit into an onion. Ooops. But I have to agree with him there. I don't necessarily enjoy biting into a chunk of onion either. And the 2 yr old, you guessed it, went screaming from the table.
I'll let you in on a. Despite strict instructions to the contrary, I used half and half instead of heavy cream. (My sincerest apologies, Ree!) And if you want to do the same, I'll never tell. But now I'm wondering if that made the difference between this being a good dish versus a Wow dish. I think the next time I make this I'll definitely kick up the red pepper flakes from "a pinch". Be ye a little more generous than that with your red pepper flakes when you make yours.
Recipe time? Nope, not yet. There's a little more to this story. This was my first visit to a liquor store. My mother was ever so kind as to accompany me. And I got carded! So take that!! :) Ok, NOW it's recipe time.
Pasta a la Vodka
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped Finely
2 cloves (to 3 Cloves) Garlic, Chopped
¾ cups (to 1 Cup) Vodka
1 can (About 14 Oz.) Tomato Puree
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 pinch Red Pepper Flakes
¼ teaspoons (to 1/2 Teaspoon) Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions, being careful not to overcook.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and butter. When butter is melted, add in chopped onion and garlic. Stir and allow to cook for two minutes. Pour in vodka. Stir and cook for three minutes. Add in tomato puree and stir.
Reduce heat to low and stir in cream. Allow to simmer, being careful not to overheat. Stir in red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water in case sauce is too thick. Add cooked pasta to the sauce, tossing to combine. Splash in a little water if it needs it. Stir in Parmesan cheese.
Pour mixture into large serving bowl. Garnish with more Parmesan cheese.