Chicken Pasta with Vodka Sauce
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This recipe comes to you, thanks to Rachael Ray. Personally, I preferred to watch her when she wasn’t so damned famous, with all of her own cookware and dog food and what-have-you. But back in my Food Network-obsessed days, I have to admit, I learned an awful lot from her.
See the shaves of parmesan in the above photo? That grater has wide, narrow blades that give you curls of parmesan (and chocolate!). I love using it for a nice flourish just before serving. You can find this Microplane Professional Small Shaver on Amazon, right here.
If you’re wondering: no, you won’t taste the vodka. You’ll be cooking off all the alcohol. Personally, I can’t stand vodka, but it lends a nice flavor to this tomato sauce. No idea why.
I’ve always loved this recipe but I haven’t made it in years. Why? Probably because it calls for heavy cream.
I am going to assuage my guilt by using only one frozen ice cube of heavy cream. Ok; maybe two. It is the weekend, after all! I’m going to make a quick salad (as I always do) to compensate. Tonight I’m topping it with Poppyseed Dressing.
Just like last night, I don’t have fresh basil in the house. I always add sautéed chicken to this dish. Tonight I’ll toss the cooked chicken with pesto, then add it to the sauce at the very end. But between you and me, this dish is better with fresh basil.
But here’s the recipe, the way ol’ Rachael wrote it.
You Won’t Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Pasta
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced (I never have shallots, so I just use sweet onion)
1 cup vodka
1 cup chicken stock
1 (32 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
16 ounces pasta, such as penne rigate
½ cup heavy whipping cream
20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn
Fill a large stock pot with salted water, cover and turn on high.
Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic and shallots. Gently saute shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness.
Add vodka. Reduce by half (this will take 2 to 3 minutes). Add chicken stock and tomatoes.
Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente. While pasta cooks, make your salad.
Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat.
Drain your pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves.
Top with freshly grated Parmesan, if you like!
Hope you enjoy!
Cheers – Vicky