Friday, November 03, 2006

in the kitchen

Last night Paul and I made one of our favorite recipes. It's easy, it's quick, and it always turns out great. What more could you ask for? It's from Carol Gelles's 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes. This is a great cookbook even for non-vegetarians. It won a James Beard award, as well as a Julia Child award. It emphasizes whole grains and vegetables, but not in a preachy way, and it includes a wide array of dishes and cuisines. I own PLENTY of vegetarian cookbooks, and this is one of the best. Runners up include Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home and Main-Course Vegetarian Pleasures.

Penne with Vodka Sauce

1 T. olive oil (I don't add quite that much)
1 C. chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
14-1/2 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
1/4 C. vodka
3 T. tomato paste
1-1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
12 oz. penne pasta
1/4 C. heavy cream

1. In a 2-qt. saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic; cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes and break them up with the back of a spoon. Stir in the vodka, tomato paste, sugar, salt, and red pepper. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. While the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta according to package directions; drain.

4. Stir the cream into the sauce; cook, stirring, until heated through. Do not allow to boil. Pour sauce over pasta and toss.

Serves 4-6

Stir in 1/4 to 1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese when you add the cream. Shockingly enough, I prefer not to add the cheese.


Jodi said...

NB: you can substitute half and half for the heavy cream, but it's not quite as rich. I have had not-so-great results substituting fat-free half and half. Plus if you ever look at the ingredients on the label for fat-free half and half you might be a little less excited to use it.

Karin said...

I love vodka sauce. I usually make Rachael Ray's--it appears rather similar to this, but at the end she tears up some fresh basil leaves and stirs them in.

I've tried Giada's version too but to me it fell flat. Not sure I could pinpoint why.

I will have to check that cookbook out!