Monday, February 14, 2011

Rigatoni w/ Vodka Sauce

Happy Valentines Day! 

Nick and I spent Saturday evening preparing Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce for our early Valentines dinner.  After a little angst over the measurements that were NOT on the recipe I decided to use, the chopping was done and the flambé was complete and the sauce was in the pan.  After about an hour of simmering, the heavy cream was added.  YUMMY is all I can say.  Well, I will say one other thing…when you write a recipe, how about putting the quantity and sizes on the recipe.  For instance, this recipe called for “4 Cans of Crushed Tomatoes”…Really?  You can’t give me a can size?  Although it’s not relevant to the complaint, I will say that the recipe I was using was for 4 to 5 pounds of pasta and I was cutting it in half so we would have leftovers (but not too much) for this week.  Regardless, I did not realize that information was missing until I was making my list for the grocery store.  And, I found out that Nick and I have different thoughts on what the size of the can could be.  When I think of a “can of crushed tomatoes” I think of a 14.5 ounce can…a regular size can.  Nick, on the other hand thinks of a 28 ounce can.  This became an issue with me ALL day.  So, we used 2-28 ounce cans (to half the recipe) and the sauce was very good and that’s what counts.

I want to thank Michele Brigante who writes the blog at  She gave me such a quick response on my question concerning the can size.  She has some great recipes and this is only ONE of them.  Check her out.

Vodka Sauce

2 onions, chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped, (separate light and dark green parts)
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
¼ lb Prosciutto di Parma, sliced into strips
1 ¼ cup vodka
2 cans tomato paste
4 – 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 Qt heavy cream
Kosher salt
Black pepper

In a large saucepan, sauté onions, garlic and light parts of scallions until soft on medium heat. Add Prosciutto and let cook for about one minute. Add vodka; turn up heat to medium high and cook until alcohol burns out about 4 minutes. Lower heat and add tomato paste and crushed tomatoes; stir. Add green parts of scallions, kosher salt and black pepper. Turn up heat until boiling, then lower heat. Let cook for 1 hour. Add cream; let simmer until starts bubbling and turn off heat.
This is enough sauce for about 4-5 lbs of pasta or more.

"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating." -- Luciano Pavarotti

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