Sunday, 6 January 2008

PPN#45 Creamy Vodka Pasta Sauce

I have never liked cream much. When I was little everyone in the family had cream on desserts except me. I have been in restaurants where I have asked them to return my cake to the kitchen after drowning it in cream (only because I initially asked for no cream). And I have never liked the idea of creamy pasta sauces.

The problem is that occasionally there is a recipe (such as my recent condensed milk fudge sauce) that has to have cream. So I buy a tub of cream and hope the E will find something to eat it on. Sometimes he doesn’t and I have cream that needs to be used against all inclinations.

With half a tub of cream in mind, I was pleased to find a recipe on Sweetnicks blog while surfing the net. The vodka in the recipe interested me enough to want to try it. I have used vodka in pasta sauce before earlier last year to great effect.

It was quick to make. But this sort of recipe makes me a little flustered when I feel it has to be served straight away, so I took time preparing ingredients and also got a little flummoxed with timing the pasta and the sauce. But the results were excellent. It reminds me why we love the word creamy! It is comforting and very tasty.

I liked this recipe because it is forgiving of my modifications. The original recipe had a lot more butter and served 4, but my lackadaisical fiddling with measurements worked well. I did wonder how much different it would be to caramelise the onions in a lot of butter as in the original recipe. But I have to buy spring onions in a bunch and I need opportunities to use them up. I think they probably made the sauce a bit lighter which is fine in summer. I couldn’t really taste the chillis so would add a little more than the half a mild chilli next time.

I served it with a simple salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, sprouts and lemon juice. We also had some of Wendy’s Apple Green Tea which was a bit lemony but was a nice refreshing summer drink. Both the pasta sauce and the drink are on my list of recipes to repeat! The sauce is being sent to Ruth at Once Upon a Feast for Presto Pasta Nights.

Creamy Vodka Pasta Sauce
(adapted from John Zaccaro Jr.'s Penne with Vodka Sauce)
Serves 2

1 tsp butter
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1/2 cup vodka (I used raspberry vodka)
½ - 1 green chilli (or to taste), finely chopped
1 tablespoons tomato paste
100ml cream
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in medium frypan. Add spring onions and fry for 1 minute over medium low heat. Add vodka and chilli and simmer for a further 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste. Turn heat to low and add remaining cream, cheese and parsley. Stir well and heat thoroughly. NB this is not a sauce that thickens! Add to pasta and toss through. (I used fettuccine, Sweetnicks used 1 pound of penne for four people.)

On the Stereo:
Twenty Jazz Funk Greats: Throbbing Gristle


  1. Creamy sauces are a real weakness of mine. Love the idea of using spring onions rather than carmelised onions. :)
    Glad you liked the green tea drink. I made it for the first time in ages yesterday, actually!

  2. thanks Wendy. This sauce made me think I need more creamy sauces in my life! The green tea drink was a great idea and I hope to try it again and write about it once I get the lemon measurements right for me!

  3. wish you a wonderful 2008, dear johanna.

  4. That is an unusual combination! It is great when something works out like that!

  5. thanks bee - hope you have a lovely 2008 too

    thanks Holler - it is indeed a combination I would never have thought could be so good!

  6. This is one of my son's favorite pasta recipes. I haven't tried it with the green/spring onions before, but will definitely give it a whirl in the future. Glad you liked the recipe!

  7. thanks Cate - I liked the spring onions because they were quicker and fresher for a summer meal! Your son has good taste :-)

  8. Yum--pasta! I agree, spring onions sound good in this one. Though we eat a fair amount of pasta over here, we do creamy sauce maybe once out of 10 pasta meals. Yet, when we do, it's great! Glad to have a new recipe for the next time round.

  9. thanks ricki - pasta is a great lazy night dinner in our place - so this sauce suits that lazy night feel!


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