Variations on a Theme of Vodka Sauce.
Penne pasta with a silky sauce of tomatoes, vodka and cream plus little bits of Italian sausage.
I like to do a couple of versions of my standard vodka sauce. It’s such a quick sauce to make and is easy to jazz it up with whatever flavor or ingredients you’re craving.
We’ve already made Vodka Sauce with Shrimp here at Idiot’s Kitchen. Vodka sauce as a side to parmesan breaded chicken cutlets is another good way to go. But Vodka Sauce with Italian Sausage might be my new #1 favorite.
Here’s what you need:
Italian Sausage, Onion, Garlic, Crushed Tomatoes, Heavy Cream, Olive Oil, Vodka, Sugar, Red Pepper Flakes (not pictured), Penne Pasta, Salt & Pepper.
Grab a large pan and drizzle with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Brown 1 pound of Italian Sausage over medium high heat.
Break the sausage up into small bits as it cooks. While the sausage browns, finely chop 1 medium onion…
and 3-4 cloves of garlic.
When most of the pink has cooked out of the sausage, add the onions to the pan and continue to cook.
Give the onions a few minutes head start, then add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more. Add 3/4 cup of vodka and simmer the sauce until the vodka is reduced by half. Careful adding the vodka if you’re cooking on a gas stove.
Add 1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes…
and season with 1 Tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon each salt & pepper, and a good hearty pinch of red pepper flakes for extra zip.
If you like things spicy, you could also start with Hot Italian Sausage and skip the red pepper flakes.
Bring the sauce to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer gently while you cook the pasta.
Cook 3/4 to 1 pound of Penne pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente – about 8 minutes. I tend to like lots of sauce with my pasta so I used slightly less than a full pound of dried penne.
When the pasta is almost done add 1/4 cup of heavy cream to the sauce, stir to heat through and then turn off the heat.
Add the cooked, drained penne directly to the vodka sauce…
and stir to coat each tube of pasta with the velvety, sausagey sauce.
Quick. Easy. Hearty. Tasty. Delicous.
Makes 4 generous servings.
Here’s the recipe.