It’s ironic that I’m posting a pasta recipe when it’s something I’m avoiding at all costs right now. My sister is getting married in less than 6 weeks, and I’ll be damned if I don’t fit in my bridesmaid dress. Now that the warm weather is finally upon us, I whipped out my old capris and sundresses and realized….”Oh dear. These are a *bit* too tight.”
Needless to say, the past few weeks have been ridiculously busy with work, exercise, eating right, and…more exercise. I’m seeing some results, which is great, but I really wouldn’t mind treating myself to another large helping of this particular dish. The good news is with all the extra exercise right now….I totally can. In all honesty, it’s not *so* bad for you. Yes, there’s some glorious cheese and cream, but there’s a few veggies, too….like spinach and tomatoes. Oh, and vodka. There are worse things in life than having a little tightness in your pants and a little splash of vodka in your pasta sauce. Checks and balances, right?
This recipe can be adapted to your own tastes. If you want to use a meat sausage, by all means, feel free. I used an Italian-flavored veggie version. If you don’t want vodka in your sauce, simply omit. And if you don’t want cheese or cream, you can omit those, too-the sauce is great without the cream. Add in additional vegetables if you like. And make sure you drink a big glass of wine with it.
Pasta and Sausage in Creamy Vodka Tomato Sauce
Servings: about 4-6
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
One 28-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (keep the juices!)
1/3 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream
2-3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
2 sausages, cooked according to package directions, and sliced into bite-sized pieces
Fresh ciliegine mozzarella (use however many you want-I’m a fan of as many as possible.)
16 ounces of whole wheat pasta (whatever kind you like), cooked according to package directions, with 1/2 cup pasta water reserved
1. In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Meanwhile, you can start cooking your pasta.
2. Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes or so.
3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
4. Stir in the can of tomatoes (with their juices) and cook until heated through, about 3-4 minutes.
5. Add in the vodka, and cook, stirring the sauce occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
6. Add in the cream, spinach and basil leaves, and cooked sausage, stirring to thoroughly combine.
7. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, mixing to toss the pasta with sauce. Add in some of the pasta water if you would like to adjust the consistency of the sauce at all (I didn’t find I needed to, but at least you can have the option here.)
8. Top the pasta with the mozzarella and additional basil leaves (if desired) and serve immediately.
Source: A Curvy Carrot original.