Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Sharon made this dish as her meal in our cook The Essential New York Times Cook Book project. It is simple and really good.

The sauce consists of equal parts Italian plum tomatoes, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese.

Add some good vodka, pepper flakes, and butter and enjoy over your favorite pasta.

Pasta With Vodka
1 ½ pounds pasta, such as penne or ziti
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons Polish or Russian Vodka
1 cup canned Italian plum tomatoes
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1.)     Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
2.)    Meanwhile, melt the butter in a casserole or saucepan large enough to hold the cooked pasta.  Add the pepper flakes and vodka and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and let simmer for 2 minutes.
3.)    Add the tomatoes and cream and bring to a boil.  Let simmer for 5 minutes.  Season with salt.
4.)    When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the hot sauce.  With the heat on low, add the cheese and mix thoroughly.

Serves 6 as main course

Cooking Note:   It’s particularly important in a recipe this subtle to add enough salt to the pasta water (the water should taste salty) and cook it to truly al dente.

Recipe from The Essential New York Times Cook Book

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