Tuesday, November 16, 2010

spaghetti alla vodka

my grandmother was famous for her alla vodka 
but not exactly like this 
for one thing--she was a traditionalist
and used penne
she also didn't make her own tomato infused vodka
she was a widow
raising 5 kids
with limited amount of time on her hands 
not all sorts
like i do
our garden produced so many late harvest tomatoes
i found myself using them in a variety of ways
sundried, oven roasted, confit
and soaked in vodka
this is really simple.  peel tomatoes and cram into a jar, use a skewer to secure tomatoes if they start to float to the top.  fill the jar with vodka and store in the refrigerator for at least 5 days.  i make several jars because i like to use the tomatoes and the vodka for my sauce. leftover vodka is really great for a bloody mary pick me up.

spaghetti alla vodka
(printable recipe)
1 lb spaghetti or pasta of choice
olive oil
1/2 of small onion--finely diced
2 garlic cloves--finely diced
6-8 basil leaves--chiffonade
1 large tin peeled whole tomatoes or combination of vodka soaked tomatoes and tinned tomatoes to equal about 4 cups whole
1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup tomato soaked vodka (or other vodka you have on hand)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan plus more for serving
cook pasta in salted water,  according to package instructions.  cook onions and garlic in olive oil over low heat.  meanwhile, place the tomatoes in a food processor or blender and pulse until it is smooth.  do not allow the onions and garlic to brown, but let them begin to soften and become translucent. at this point, add the tomatoes and vodka and let simmer for about  10-15 minutes.  add the basil, red pepper flakes and heavy cream and allow to heat through.  stir in parmesan, then toss drained pasta in.  if the sauce seems too thick,  use a bit of the pasta water.  shave a bit of parmesan on top of each individual serving, along with additional crushed red pepper, if you like spicy.  

i am linking this recipe to 


  1. I've never seen this technique before, but what a great idea to get the vodka infusion into the tomatoes!

  2. What an AWESOME idea! I'd never thought to actually soak the tomatoes in the vodka. I mean, I've made pasta w/ vodka sauce...but this is so much cooler. Fantstic! I'm soooo trying it next year. And the thought of using the remaining vodka in a bloody mary totally makes me smile. Beauty. Thanks so much for sharing this with the hearth and soul hop this week, Christy :D

  3. Hey I love the fact that you used fresh tomatoes
    I found you on the girlichef's blog. If you get a moment please stop by.

  4. I have a few late harvest tomatoes left in my kitchen, what a great use for them!! This looks amazing!

  5. Ooops... my comment published before I had a chance to finish. That's because I sneezed and my fingers hit the wrong key.... damn allergies.

    I love this recipe and have saved it to make in the future. Thanks

  6. This is a fabulous idea. One I certainly never would have though of. This sounds delicious. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  7. Whoah! That sounds amazing. I've seen "alla vodka" on menus and even some store bought sauces before, but never knew quite how vodka played a role in the sauce. Your recipe sounds like the absolute ultimate! The tomatoes, the tomato vodka, the cream, the red pepper flakes. Incredible!

  8. I love tomato-based sauces, and I hear wonderful things about vodka sauces, but I've never made one. I love the idea of marinating your own, and the idea for bloody mary's, which we're big fans of in our house! Christy, this looks wonderful!

    Hope you'll swing over to the CSN Giveaway that I'm hosting this week.

  9. Did someone say vodka? Yum!

    You should feature this in Preston Pasta nights! I'm hosting this week, here are the details! Gosh it looks good!


  10. One of my favorite things about visiting blogs is learning ways to cook with alcohol - really! alla - vodka just sounds heavenly! thanks Christy for linking this to the hearth and soul hop!

  11. I also have never seen this before! I'm even sending a link along to my sister.


  12. Great story and awesome version of the dish. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. Hope to see you back often.

  13. I never thought of making my own vodka sauce or even how to make it. Thanks for sharing this. It sounds delicious


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