Vegetarian Vodka Sauce
Well, Sage had asked me to post a chili recipe, so I made chili, and while it was really delicious, it was kind of ugly. So, when I got a craving for vodka sauce, the farmer’s market was full of fresh tomatoes, I decided I’d post that instead.
Now, why vodka sauce has vodka in it, I have no idea. You’ll have to ask wikipedia. Essentially it is just a nice form of creamy marinara. It is traditionally paired with penne pasta, and often has peas in it. Imagine my excitement then when I found fresh-shelled English peas at the market!
To compensate for the prociutto that is traditionally in vodka sauce (making it decidely not vegetarian) I tried roasting the tomatoes in the oven. It adds a little more depth to the flavor profile, without getting heavily smoky tasting. I also like my vodka sauce pretty spicy, so if you don’t I would recommend toning down the garlic and the chili pepper flakes. I served this with garlic bread made on olive bread, which was super yums.
Vegetarian Vodka Sauce
about 2-3 lbs tomatoes (I used 1/2 caprison and 1/2 beefsteak)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 small onion, diced
One head garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp (more or less) red chili flakes
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
1/4 parmesan cheese
1 handful parsley, chopped
1 cup English peas
1 handful basil, chopped or loosely torn
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 475. Cut the tomatoes into large pieces (halve small ones, quarter large ones). Place in a large roasting pan, toss in 1 Tbs of the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for about 45 min. When done, they should be slightly carmelized on the edges, and very soft. Pour into a food processor, and pulse for 15-30 sec to desired consistency.
While the tomatoes are about to finish, place the other 1 Tbs olive oil in a large sauce pan on med. Add the onion and chili flakes and saute till translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 more minute. Add the vodka and let it evaporate. Add the tomatoes. Simmer, uncovered for 5-20 min (depending on patience). Add the parsley and mix in. Add the cream and cheese and stir to incorporate. Let simmer for another 5-10min. Add salt and pepper to taste.
While the sauce is simmering, put the pasta water to boil. When the pasta is almost done, add the peas and let them boil in the water for about 30-60 sec. You can add a little bit of the strained pasta water to the sauce at the end to thin it out a little.
Add the pasta and peas to the sauce pan and mix to coat. Serve topped with the torn basil.
It appears wordpress won’t let me post the pictures. I will try to fix that, otherwise you are all welcome to post your pictures if you make it yourself!