Earlier this week, my husband texted me that a friend of his was wanting to hang out after work, so we agreed to just do our own thing for supper. So, I scratched the plans for pork schnitzel and decided to whip up some vodka cream sauce with pasta.
Add in your dried herbs, and continue to cook over medium low heat for another minute or so. After the minute, add in the tomato paste, and continue cooking over medium low heat for another couple of minutes. You want to keep stirring this, so that the garlic doesn't burn, but if the heat is over medium low, you should be fine.
Okay! Now it's time to add in the vodka! I like to turn the heat off of my stove when I add the vodka (or I could just move the pot off of the stove, but I have a gas stove, so there is an open flame. As we all know, open flame with highly flammable liquid can easily equal disaster. So, I just kill the flame for about 5 seconds while I pour it in); after adding the vodka in, stir it well, and let it reduce down for a minute, over medium heat. This will help cook off some of the raw vodka flavor.
Pour in your tomato sauce, and heavy cream, and stir well. Taste at this point, and check to see how much salt you need to add in, and salt to taste.
The cream will make your sauce a light pink color, and add a bit of sweetness. To finish the sauce, I like to add in the other 1/2 Tbs pat of butter, but that's optional.
Once your pasta is cooked, pour the drained pasta into your sauce, and let it finish cooking over medium heat, for another minute or so. I like my pasta overcooked (I know, I know....don't shoot me!), so I let it cook with the sauce for a couple of minutes. The sauce has a lovely coating consistency, but if your sauce is too thick, or thickens up too much while the pasta is finishing off in it, add in some of the reserved pasta water to thin it out just a bit.
This is some saucy goodness. Believe me. I love how it coats the pasta. You can top with some Parmesan, but I like to top mine with some shredded mozzarella.