Sometimes, the answer is vodka.
Vodka as in vodka sauce ... c'mon, I'm not that debauched. And sometimes the answer is whatever is hanging around my fridge. Sometimes its both.
Divalicious Vodka Sauce:
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp. butter
- 1 large shallot (or 2 medium) minced
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- 4 slices of very lean prosciutto, diced
- 3/4 cup vodka*
- one 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 or 2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
- 2 tbsp. fat-free Half-and-Half
- Cooked penne or other tubular pasta
- some chopped fresh parsley and additional grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Add the oregano and simmer sauce, uncovered for 15 minutes on very low heat stirring frequently. You may add a bit more broth if sauce becomes too thick. This is one of those recipes that can cook for as little or as long as you need it to. 15 minutes is fine, but I've made it in advance and kept it on low for up to an hour. The important thing is to add the half-and-half at the last minute. When you are ready to eat, raise the heat so that the sauce is gently bubbling - add the half-and-half, to taste, stir to incorporate and serve immediately!
As written, this recipe will serve 6. Enjoy!
Careful viewers will have noted the absence of pasta beneath that beautiful sauce in the above photo. I served the sauce over some homemade gnudi and I'll spare you the recipe because I'm absolutely certain no one will even consider making them. Gnudi, or gnudoni, are probably best described as gnocchi's delightfully whimsical cousins. I made mine with a minimum of whole wheat pastry flour and some fresh spinach ... but it was a major undertaking and probably not worth the effort of description.
The sauce, however, is remarkably luscious. So good you'll want to drink it. Really. I'm not a huge fan of pink sauces, so I keep the half-and-half to a minimum, but do as you see fit and feel free to add more if that is your preference. Were we in the midst of summer, I might opt for fresh basil in lieu of the oregano, so that's another option as well. You can't go wrong either way and the end result will surely delight no matter your choice. I hope you'll try it!
*One final note about the vodka - do not use an ultra premium variety. Middle of the road vodka is the way to go here. The premium brands don't have enough flavor. Though the alcohol will burn off during the simmer, without the background spike of vodka there's really no point in making the sauce!
So, what's for dinner in your house tonight? Curious Diva wants to know.