The Best Pasta Sauce Ever
Do me a favor: MAKE THIS PASTA SAUCE FOR DINNER TONIGHT! I think you’ll thank me. It’s absolutely, positively, hands down, 100% the best pasta sauce I have ever tasted. And I’ve had a lot of pasta sauce experience so you must understand how bold of a statement I just made. The best part is: I made it myself! And once you read how easy it is, you’ll be able to make it too!
I know. That’s certainly a lot of excitement over a pasta sauce. But let me explain. I grew up with lots of jarred sauce in my day, which don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed, but I never knew how much of a difference fresh could make. I thought that even though it was mass produced, the pasta sauce makers of my day still knew what they were doing and I should leave the sauce making to the experts.
But, through my love of Italian restaurants, I developed a love for vodka sauce, a sweet mixture of tomato and cream with a hint of spice from the vodka. No jar could ever compare to the restaurant quality I had tasted. So, I made this sauce. And let me tell you, I surpassed the restaurants! With chunks of tomatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, and a deep rich flavor, this sauce is truly addictive. I’m eating the leftovers for my lunch as I type this blog post and I wish I had more. The cream is often to blame for making vodka sauce too rich, but the small amount in this sauce keeps it light and still refreshing.
But truthfully, I think the secret is the shallots. I’m not a big onion fan but I do enjoy the flavor of shallots so I decided to mix the two to add flavor but still have enough to add texture. The onions and shallots become sort of caramelized and provide the perfect background flavor if you ask me!
Anyway, I couldn’t be more proud of my concoction that I just needed to share it with the rest of the world. Here is how to make my new favorite vodka sauce:
Step 1: Chop up 1 lg. shallot, 2 cloves garlic and 1/4 onion. Brown them in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
Step 2: Add canned tomatoes (make sure to drain the liquid!) and fresh tomatoes to the mix and any seasoning you like. I love the spice of crushed red pepper flakes so I added some here. Let that stew for 5-10 minutes.
Step 3: Add cream and vodka. Let cook until thickened. Don’t worry – it’s not going to look right at first but give it a little time and it will become that orange color we all love. If the mixture is too thin, quickly stir in 1 Tbs. flour.
When it’s done, it should look like this:
…a simmering bowl of delicious tomato-ey creamy wonderfully flavored goodness!
Now, pour it over some pasta. Mix in any veggies you want to add. We added sauteed mushrooms and steamed spinach. And voila, we had a wonderful meal!
The only thing I didn’t like was the pasta itself! I bought a new brand, and I don’t know if I just didn’t boil it long enough or what..but it tasted grainy, chewy and…well, terrible. It was sad to waste good sauce on terrible pasta…but there was nothing I could do. But the sauce still made the dinner and good pasta or bad pasta, it was hard not to eat!
I also have to give a lot of credit to my sous chef mother who did a wonderful job chopping up the garlic, onions and shallots. She is much neater of a chopper than I could ever be and I think that really made a difference in the sauce. Just look at that skill! Thank you mom!
Naturally, I’d like to submit this entry into Presto Pasta Nights to be hosted this week by me (Chew on That)! Tune in tomorrow for the roundup and a whole sloe of equally delicious looking pasta dishes.
I made this vodka sauce from scratch, and it’s hands down the best I have ever tasted! Serve with penne, rigatoni or pasta of your choice! This recipe is loosely based off of this one but I made enough tweaks where I think I can safely call it my own.
2 cloves garlic
1 lg. shallot
1/4 yellow onion
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 14.5-oz. can whole tomatoes, drained
3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/4 C. vodka
1 Tbs. all purpose flour (if necessary for thickening)
In a saucepan, brown garlic, shallots and onion in olive oil, about 5 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and crushed red pepper. Mix, breaking up tomatoes, and let cook on medium to high heat for 5-10 minutes. Add heavy cream and vodka and stir. Let cook for 5-10 minutes. If the mixture doesn’t thicken, quickly stir in 1 Tbs. flour. Keep heated until serving.
Serve over cooked penne or rigatoni or pasta of your choice. Tip: Try out this pasta pot from the Recipe4Living Cooking Store!
Serving Size: 4-6