Jun 28, 2010

Pasta Alla Vodka

Yessss I know, I'm a horrible slacker and I haven't posted in forever. I have more food pictures from Hawaii, however I can't post them today. All my pictures are on my computer which I sent in to Apple to be fixed. So! Pictures will be posted at a later date!
I have also had an epiphany. As I'm sure many of you have noticed, there tends to be a trend in my writing. Every now and then I have a weight loss/healthy eating epiphany followed by a week or two of actually trying to be healthier before I give in to a bag of Doritos. But not this time folks! I've decided that my problem is not so much what I eat but how much I eat. I will clean my plate even if I'm full. I'm going to go ahead and blame everyone else for this issue. Everyone knows that phrase "Finish your food, there are starving kids in China/India/Africa etc." Well I won't give in to that anymore! I am not going to finish my food! I am going to pace myself and not finish my food, because chances are I'm already full. TADA! EPIPHANY! and this one's going to last.
And now a recipe that is the complete opposite of weight loss/healthy eating. But I didn't eat that much of this and it was followed by a salad, so I think that's good still. This is: Pioneer Woman's Pasta Alla Vodka. The reason I made this is that I was curious. SO CURIOUS! How does vodka make food taste better? It has no taste! What will it add? I have been wanting to make this for a while, but I wasn't able to before because I was at school. I'm not old enough to buy/drink alcohol and I wasn't about to go find some just for one little pasta dish. But now that I'm home, I can make this for my family and it's ok! My parents were curious about it too, but admittedly not as curious as I was. So here you go! Pastaaaaa!
PS. Again, no pictures sorry. I will try harder!!!!

Adapted from Pioneer Woman
1 lb pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped (or half an onion if you don't like onion.)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup vodka
1 14oz can tomato puree (I used sauce)
1 cup heavy cream
red pepper flakes to taste
1/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1 cup Parmesan

First get your water boiling and pasta cooking. Just let it do it's thing but don't forget to check on it every now and then. Meanwhile, heat up the olive oil and butter over medium heat. When it's hot, add the onions and garlic and let cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Then (This is important people!) TURN OFF THE FLAME. Please don't pour vodka into a screaming hot pan while the flame is on. Your eyebrows will burn off. After you have turned the flame off, pour the vodka into the pan and stir. Now you may turn the flame back on. Oh, if you're using an electric stove you can ignore that. Let the vodka cook down for a few minutes. Also, don't put your face over the pan unless you like getting evaporated alcohol in your sinuses. But if you do, please by all means, go ahead. After the vodka has cooked down a bit, add the tomato puree/sauce, stir, then add the cream. Bring the mixture to a simmer and add the salt and pepper.
Here's where I changed it up. I added another can of sauce because I didn't like how it tasted. I know that vodka is supposed to be flavorless, but I completely disagree. It tastes like alcohol! And it is gross. So when I tried the sauce it tasted like tomato sauce at first, but then I got this intenssssse flavor of alcohol. Maybe I just didn't let all the alcohol cook out or maybe I'm just a baby, but I didn't like it. Even after adding another can of tomato sauce, I still tasted that ting of alcohol in the back of my throat. My other theory about that is that maybe it's because I'm not a drinker? I'm not used to the flavor of alcohol, so therefor I notice it more? My parents didn't seem to notice it at all, so I think I'm going to stick with that theory.
Now before you drain the pasta, grab a cupful of the pasta water to thicken the sauce if necessary. I didn't need it, but you might, so do it anyway. Throw the drained pasta into the sauce and toss. If the sauce is too thick and goopy, so ahead and add a little pasta water. Then add the Parmesan cheese and stir it all up! We all added even more Parmesan cheese to our own bowls, because really people, is one cup of cheese enough? No. Never.
So there you have it, Pasta alla Vodka!

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