We’re Cooking: Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce

We had some of the roasted tomato soup left over from our dinner party on Saturday, and Gary loves a big bowl of pasta so I decided to turn the soup into a silky, creamy sauce.  I had gone back and forth on whether to add cream to our soup or not, and in the end did not.  Making the sauce allowed me to see how the soup may have tasted with cream…and vodka…and yes, it was good.  Much richer than the soup we enjoyed the other night, and a good way to change up the recipe when we make it again.   We used what we had in the pantry…rotini and shell pasta, but it would also be great with angel hair.


Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce
1/2 yellow onion – minced
2 garlic cloves – minced
1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 teaspoon for your pasta water
2 cups roasted tomato and red pepper soup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper + any additional to season to your taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup vodka
1 cup cream, half and half or milk (the cream will add an extra layer of richness and thickness, but milk or skim milk will work and keep the recipe lighter and healthier)
1 tablespoon butter
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
10 oz pasta
2 tablespoons basil pesto – optional

Fill a pasta pot with water and season with salt and a bit of olive oil and set to boil on medium high heat.  Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saute pan.  Add the onion and garlic and saute until golden.  Add the soup, spices, tomato paste, Worcestershire and vinegar.  Cook to combine the flavors.  Add the vodka and bring to a quick boil to cook out the alcohol, then lower the heat.  Add the basil and cream and heat through. Add the butter to finish and adjust the seasoning to your taste.  Meanwhile, as soon as the pasta water has boiled add pasta and cook until just al dente.  Drain and add to the sauce.  Combine and spoon into serving dish. Garnish with a dollop of basil pesto and serve.


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