Friday, July 26, 2013

vodka tomato sauce from scratch

I like to think of myself as a pretty hardworking person, but I definitely have my limits.

For example, I've discovered I can stay at work for 14 hours before getting cranky. I can read 60 pages of Goffman before needing an xoJane break. I can spend three hours waiting for a guy to text me before whining to my roommates that I've given up on men foreverrrr. I can do two hours of calculus homework before needing a bubble bath.

I can eat, like, three salads before needing a bowl of hearty, carby pasta.

totally worth the torture of salad-eating.

This pasta is one of my favorites, because it's easy, absurdly delicious, and only takes about 20 minutes to make, from start to finish. Which means it's a perfect dinner when you've spent 12 hours at the office and you've been waiting 6 hours for this guy to text you and you still have an hour of calc homework to finish before bedtime. And you've been eating arugula all day. That's the description of the most boring day I could imagine.

fact: i grow my own basil specifically to make this pasta.
The basil and red pepper flakes make this sauce a rockstar addition to your repertoire. I mean, if you like thick, creamy, tomato sauce with a kick of vodka and red pepper.

this is my version of the rorschach test. i think the bottom one looks like a sassy robot.
It's almost impossible to take a pretty picture of sauce while it's simmering (I'm serious - have you googled it?), but I just had to show you the beautiful color.

would you eat me? i'd eat me.
makes about 4 servings

1 pound whole wheat rotini
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup vodka (I always use Smirnoff, but you can use anything)
2 tablespoon fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil
pinch red pepper flakes
pinch salt

Bring a large pot of water to boil, toss in the pasta with some salt, and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix tomato paste and vodka together. Stir well, until tomato paste is dissolved.

Add butter and cream to a large skillet over medium-low heat. Once the butter has melted, pour the tomato mixture into the skillet, along with the basil and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle some salt in there too. Stir it all together. Keep the sauce simmering on medium-low heat until the vodka has evaporated, 6-10 minutes.

Once pasta is done boiling, strain it and set aside any amount that you're leaving for leftovers. (For some reason, this sauce does not like being refrigerated with pasta. For best leftover taste, refrigerate pasta and sauce separately. The sauce turns into a bit of a paste, but will loosen up when heated.)

Return the non-leftovers to the pot and put the pot back on the stove, on low heat. Pour sauce over pasta and stir. Let it sit on low heat for a couple minutes, so the flavors infuse with the pasta. Curl up on the couch with lots of blankets and consume.

stop checking your phone! he'll text you eventually.

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