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What’s for dinner: Rotini with vodka sauce

Categories: Food & Cooking

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The alcohol in the vodka sauce cooks off in this dish, leaving behind just an additional level of depth, too subtle to identify.  The small amount of cream turns the sauce a pretty deep pink, and adds lovely texture and flavor.

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1 (35-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in puree
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 pound dried rotini (corkscrew) pasta
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.  When the butter is melted, add the onion and red pepper flakes and saute until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes.  Add the vodka, tun up the heat to medium high, and saute until the vodka is almost evaporated, about 4 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and cook ove medium heat until it thicken a bit, about 10 minutes.

2. Reduce the heat to low, add the cream and allow to simmer gently for about 3 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente, according to package directions.  Drain, transfer to a serving dish, add the sauce and toss to combine.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired and serve, passing extra Parmesan at the table if you like.

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