Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce

Watching television can be a dangerous thing, especially when it comes to watching either the cooking channel or any of the gazillion commercials advertising chain restaurant fare. It seems like almost every week there is some new sauce or dish being demonstrated or advertised that promises to be “the best you’ve ever tasted.”  Most of the time I dismiss these claims based solely on the ingredients list. There always seems to be one ingredient that someone in our house just doesn’t like or that might not be easily accessible. Every once in a while though, a recipe intrigues me enough that even if the ingredients aren’t necessarily perfect, I figure I can fudge it enough to still somehow make the promised “best you’ve ever tasted” dish.

Tomato vodka cream sauce is not a sauce that I had ever tasted, but seeing as Hubby and Zeb absolutely love red sauces when it comes to pasta, I knew I had to give this a shot. Grace isn’t as keen on red sauces, but when I can please two out of three people in our family, that’s a definite win.

The first step in making the tomato vodka cream sauce is to heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add one small onion, minced and cook, stirring until translucent.

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Add two cloves garlic, minced and cook 30 seconds.

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Stir in 2 cups chopped tomatoes, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp chile flakes, and 1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt.

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Add 1/3 cup broth and 1/4 cup vodka and simmer until reduced by half.

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Remove pan from heat and either puree with a stick blender or ladle mixture into blender. Puree in blender for 1 minute, until smooth.

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Pour puree into fine mesh strainer to remove tomato seeds.

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Return strained sauce to pan.

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Bring sauce back to a simmer and add 1/2 cup heavy cream.

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Simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced slightly.

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Serving Suggestion

I served this as an appetizer over https://simplygratefulcooking.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/homemade-potato-gnocchi/ the first time I made it. Everyone agreed it was definitely a dish they would want to make a complete meal of. The sauce can be used on penne, gnocchi, or any pasta of your choice.

Cooks Notes

All of the sauces I found on the internet did not puree or strain the sauce. My family does not like tomato pieces in their sauces, so I made this adjustment so we would enjoy it. The sauce had a nice smooth consistency that coated the pasta.

After my test batch of this sauce was made, I tripled the recipe and froze the sauce in quart jars filled 3/4 of the way full. Note I did not add the cream prior to freezing. This will be added after I have heated the sauce for serving. Come summer I think I will try canning this sauce using fresh tomatoes from the garden and store in the pantry for quick and easy meals.

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This sauce is very rich and be aware that a little goes a long way. Although when I was taste testing it while cooking the sauce I thought I could just drink the sauce because it was so good, the reality is that it’s far too rich to consider such a thing. To serve my family of four I used approximately 1 pint of the sauce over the gnocchi for a meal and only 1/2 a pint for an appetizer, and it was plenty. The sauce clung to the pasta and it was flavorful and rich enough to not require the pasta to swim in it. Hubby, who usually wants more sauce than pasta, was content with the limited amount I served the dish with.

Another new meal for the menu that everyone, including Grace enjoyed, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce

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Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Cups Canned Chopped Tomatoes (I used home-canned tomatoes)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. Dried Red Chile Flakes
  • 1/3 Cup Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Vodka
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

Directions

  1. In a large sauce pan heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, thyme, oregano, chile flakes, and salt.
  4. Add broth and vodka and simmer until reduced by half.
  5. Remove pan from heat and ladle mixture into blender. Puree in blender for 1 minute, until smooth. Pour puree into fine mesh strainer to remove tomato seeds. Return strained sauce to pan.
  6. Bring sauce back to a simmer and add heavy cream. Simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced slightly.

Serving Suggestion

I served this as an appetizer over https://simplygratefulcooking.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/homemade-potato-gnocchi/ the first time I made it. Everyone agreed that it was definitely a dish they would want to make a complete meal of. The sauce can be used on penne, gnocchi, or any pasta of your choice.

Cooks Notes

All of the sauces I found on the internet did not puree or strain the sauce. My family does not like tomato pieces in their sauces, so I made this adjustment so we would enjoy it. The sauce had a nice smooth consistency that coated the pasta.

After my test batch of this sauce was made, I tripled the recipe and froze the sauce in quart jars filled 3/4 of the way full. Note I did not add the cream prior to freezing. This will be added after I have heated the sauce for serving. Come summer I think I will try canning this sauce using fresh tomatoes from the garden and store in the pantry for quick and easy meals.

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2 thoughts on “Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce

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