Creamy Vodka Sauce Pasta with Toasty Rosemary Breadcrumbs.

Pasta with the creamiest vodka sauce for the win tonight. It’s a major dinner win, trust me.  And right now, we’re allllll about the easy dinners over here.  While the stay-at-home fatigue hasn’t sent us out to dinner yet, it’s kind of whipped us in the kitchen. Give me easy easy easy!  So, vodka sauce! […]

The post Creamy Vodka Sauce Pasta with Toasty Rosemary Breadcrumbs. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Pasta with the creamiest vodka sauce for the win tonight.

creamy vodka sauce pasta with rosemary toasted breadcrumbs

It’s a major dinner win, trust me. 

And right now, we’re allllll about the easy dinners over here. 

While the stay-at-home fatigue hasn’t sent us out to dinner yet, it’s kind of whipped us in the kitchen. Give me easy easy easy! 

tomato paste with sautéed onions and garlic

So, vodka sauce!

This comes together in one pan, then you toss the pasta right in. Top with golden toasty rosemary breadcrumbs and you’re set!

Smells like heaven, tastes even better.

vodka sauce with cream swirl

Because this creamy sauce is a DREAM.

It’s no secret that tomato sauce has never been my favorite. In fact, I loathed it growing up and didn’t end up truly enjoying it until I was pregnant with Max! Thankfully, that stuck and ever since, I’ve been able make and love things with tomato sauce.

tossing pasta in vodka sauce

However! Before that, as long as it was a tomato cream sauce? I could get on board. And now, I’d never pass that up. It’s light but decadent at the same time.

making rosemary bread crumbs

For this vodka sauce, we’re using tomato paste. I absolutely love this trick – it’s what I use to make the sauce for my homemade spaghettios. It really adds a rich depth of flavor and also allows the sauce to be super smooth. There are no tomato chunks! 

I do like to sauté some shallots and garlic to start, but once that tomato paste goes in, it’s the heart of the sauce. 

creamy vodka sauce pasta with rosemary toasted breadcrumbs

Then, it’s time to deglaze the pan with some vodka! This helps to emulsify the sauce and create a silky coat-the-back-of-the-spoon feel. You’ll want to eat it right out of the pan.

Or take a big hunk of sourdough to it. Yummm.

creamy vodka sauce pasta with rosemary toasted breadcrumbs

The best part about vodka sauce is that it so lightly coats the noodles, but coats them completely. It’s like a silky blanket that covers the pasta and is perfect with crunchy breadcrumbs and parmesan on top. 

creamy vodka sauce pasta with rosemary toasted breadcrumbs

This dish paired with the perfect salad and a glass of pinot noir is all we need.

creamy vodka sauce pasta with rosemary toasted breadcrumbs

Pasta with Creamy Vodka Sauce

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Creamy Vodka Sauce Pasta with Toasty Rosemary Breadcrumbs

This pasta with vodka sauce is silky and creamy and flavorful! Top with rosemary breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. It's the best.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta (I like a short cut noodle here)
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons vodka (I like Tito’s)
  • cup heavy cream
  • cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

rosemary breadcrumbs

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

Instructions

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, cook the pasta according to the directions. Be sure to reserve 1 ½ to 2 cups of pasta water for the sauce!
  • While the water is boiling, heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the shallots and garlic with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions soften. Add in the tomato paste and stir, cooking for 5 minutes. The color will darken - this is where the flavor is!
  • Stream in the vodka and stir, scraping the brown bits and flavor from the bottom. Stir in ½ cup of the reserved pasta. Stir in the heavy cream and parmesan, stirring until the cheese melts. Taste and season the sauce with more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce and toss well. If needed, you can stream in more of the pasta water until it’s creamy and silky. Top with the rosemary bread crumbs and a sprinkle of parmesan. Serve immediately.

rosemary breadcrumbs

  • Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Once it’s sizzling and even browning a bit, stir in the breadcrumbs and rosemary. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until golden and toasty, Throw on top of the pasta!

Notes

slightly adapted from delish

 

creamy vodka sauce pasta with rosemary toasted breadcrumbs

I can taste it through the screen!

The post Creamy Vodka Sauce Pasta with Toasty Rosemary Breadcrumbs. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

The Perfect Pumpkin Pie Recipe

The Perfect Pumpkin Pie Recipe
A classic pumpkin pie recipe – smooth, creamy, and just moderately spiced. The best pumpkin pie you’ll ever eat!
READ: The Perfect Pumpkin Pie Recipe

The Perfect Pumpkin Pie Recipe

A classic pumpkin pie recipe - smooth, creamy, and just moderately spiced. The best pumpkin pie you'll ever eat!

READ: The Perfect Pumpkin Pie Recipe

How to Make Vanilla Extract

How to Make Vanilla Extract
This homemade vanilla extract is made from just two ingredients (vanilla beans and vodka) and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. Let it sit for at least one month (longer is better!) and it’ll be ready to use for baking …

How to Make Vanilla Extract

This homemade vanilla extract is made from just two ingredients (vanilla beans and vodka) and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. Let it sit for at least one month (longer is better!) and it'll be ready to use for baking or to give as a gift.

READ: How to Make Vanilla Extract

Cosmopolitan Cocktails and Roasted Nuts with Rosemary

I’ve had my blog for a while, over twenty years now, and one of the first recipes I posted on it was for a Cosmopolitan cocktail. Back then, in the 1990s, Cosmopolitans were still the rage. Much of it was due to Sex in the City, where they were the drink of choice for four women who were close friends, trying to find their way…

I’ve had my blog for a while, over twenty years now, and one of the first recipes I posted on it was for a Cosmopolitan cocktail. Back then, in the 1990s, Cosmopolitans were still the rage. Much of it was due to Sex in the City, where they were the drink of choice for four women who were close friends, trying to find their way in New York City, navigating through boyfriends, parties, careers, and cocktail bars. During their get-togethers, the cocktail of choice was always a round of Cosmos.

Roasted Nuts with Rosemary

The cocktail become somewhat of a cliché and faded from popularity as the craft cocktail movement elbowed in. But everyone once in a while, I still like a Cosmopolitan.

Continue Reading Cosmopolitan Cocktails and Roasted Nuts with Rosemary...

French Silk Pie

This creamy French silk pie starts with my favorite pie crust, is loaded with a smooth, mousse-like chocolate filling and topped with fresh whipped cream.

The post French Silk Pie appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

This creamy French silk pie starts with my favorite pie crust, is loaded with a silky smooth, mousse-like chocolate filling and topped with fresh whipped cream. Sprinkle with some chocolate curls and you have an absolutely unbelievable dessert. And the best part – no raw eggs!

A closeup photo of a slice of French silk pie with a forkful removed.

Ages ago, I resisted trying French silk pie for the first time. And do you know why? Are you ready for this? You will absolutely, positively think I’m insane.

For some reason, I had such a hard time getting past the combination of pie crust combined with chocolate. Am I nuts or what?! It seems as though I had compartmentalized desserts in my brain, and pie crust was reserved for things like fruit, pumpkin, and pecans. Chocolate, on the other hand, was reserved for… everything other than pie crust? Seriously, I know it makes zero sense. However, the only chocolate-based pie I had made before this one (chocolate cream pie) had an Oreo crust. I just wasn’t sold that chocolate and traditional pie crust were a good combination.

Clearly, I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

An overhead photo of French silk pie topped with whipped cream and chocolate curls.

How to Make French Silk Pie

Let’s talk about how this amazing pie comes together…

  1. First things first, you are going to prepare and bake a pie crust. I use my all-time favorite pie crust for this recipe, but you can use whatever your favorite version is, or even buy a prepared pie crust at the store for a super short cut (although I obviously advocate for homemade always!).
  2. Next, whip cream and melt chocolate. Separately, you will beat whipped cream to stiff peaks and then melt the chocolate until smooth.
  3. Then, warm the eggs and beat until light and fluffy. After that, it’s time to add the melted chocolate, vanilla, and butter. Once everything is combined and smooth, fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.
  4. Spread the chocolate filling in the pie shell and refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight.
  5. When ready to serve, top with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shells!

Step by step photos for making the filling of French silk pie.

No Raw Eggs!

The second issue I had with all of the French silk pie recipes that I found was that most of them used raw eggs without any sort of tempering to bring them up to a safe temperature. I’m not one to shun from a few beater licks of raw cookie dough, but I just couldn’t get past completely raw eggs as the end product.

I was thrilled when I saw this filling recipe from Cook’s Country that calls for heating the eggs to a safe 160 degrees F as part of the recipe. It helped appease my raw egg neurosis and the final product turned out so silky smooth that I can’t believe it lost anything to its raw counterpart.

Three photos of filling the pie shell for French silk pie.

As it turns out, buttery, flaky pie crust makes an absolutely phenomenal vessel for the velvety smooth chocolate filling. Truth be told, I could have eaten this pie filling with a spoon and just said to heck with filling the pie crust and letting it chill. I did purposefully leave a little leftover in the bowl so I could scrape it up with my finger ;-)

I went from eyeing the pie crust/chocolate combination with a skeptical eye and ended up trying to hoard the entire pie for myself. Lesson learned. Never second-guess anything when it involves pie crust or chocolate. I do believe that the silky texture of this pie is best enjoyed when served at room temperature, so if you have chilled the pie, I would let it sit out for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

Please tell me I’m not the only one with crazy food combination issues!

A French silk pie with a slice taken out.

More Chocolate Pies

Every chocolate lover in your life will love these pies and tarts!

French Silk Pie

Recipe video included. This creamy French silk pie starts with my favorite pie crust, is loaded with a silky smooth, mousse-like chocolate filling and topped with fresh whipped cream. Sprinkle with some chocolate curls and you have an absolutely unbelievable dessert.

For the Pie Crust:

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (chilled, cut into ¼-inch slices)
  • ¼ cup solid vegetable shortening (chilled, cut into 2 pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons vodka (chilled)
  • 2 tablespoons ice water

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (finely chopped)
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature, cut into ½-inch pieces)

For the Whipped Cream Topping

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

To Garnish

  • Chocolate curls (optional)
  1. Make the Crust: Process ¾ cups flour, salt, and sugar together in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process for 10 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining, but there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining ½ cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.

  2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Flatten dough into 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes (or up to 2 days).
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On a floured work surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate and gently ease the dough into the pie plate. Leave any dough that overhangs the plate in place, wrap the dough-lined pie plate loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
  4. Trim the overhang to ½-inch beyond the lip of the pie plate. Tuck the overhang under itself (the folded edge should be flush with the edge of the pie plate). Crimp the dough around the edges. Wrap the dough-lined pie plate loosely in the plastic and refrigerate until the dough is fully chilled and firm, about 15 minutes.
  5. Line the chilled pie shell with a double layer of aluminum foil, being sure to cover the edges as well, and fill with pie weights. Bake until the pie dough looks dry and is pale in color, about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and the weights and continue to bake until the crust is a deep golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes longer. Transfer the pie plate to a wire rack and let the crust cool completely, about 1 hour.
  6. Make the Filling: Pour the heavy cream into a large mixing bowl and whip on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to whip until stiff peaks form, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the whipped cream to a small bowl and refrigerate until needed.

  7. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth. Set aside.
  8. In a large, heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and water. Beat the mixture on medium speed until pale yellow and thick, about 5 minutes. Set the bowl over a medium saucepan filled ½-inch of barely simmering water over low heat, and warm the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat the mixture on medium speed until it is light and fluffy and cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.
  9. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla extract to the cooled egg mixture and beat until incorporated. Beat in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Scrape the filling into the pie shell and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

  10. Make the Whipped Cream: Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a handheld mixer, beat the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium speed until it just reaches stiff peaks. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the chilled pie and garnish with chocolate curls, if desired. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator, uncovered, for up to 3 hours. Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days.

  • Pie Crust – This is my favorite pie crust recipe and a question I get asked often is if the vodka is necessary and if it can be replaced. Yes, it is essential in this particular recipe and you cannot substitute more water and get the same result. If you cannot use alcohol, I recommend using your own favorite pie crust recipe.
  • Chocolate – I like to use the Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet baking bars for this recipe. 
  • Freezing Instructions – Once the pie has been chilled in the refrigerator, cover tightly with plastic wrap, then foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then top with the fresh whipped cream and serve.

Nutritional values are based on one serving

Originally published in 2014, this has been updated to include new photos, a helpful video tutorial, and more in-depth recipe tips.

[photos by Ari of Well Seasoned]

The post French Silk Pie appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.

Merry Cherry Christmas Cocktail.

This merry cherry christmas cocktail is sponsored by Truly Hard Seltzer. I’m so excited to be working with them this holiday season to create a cocktail for you! This fun and festive merry cherry christmas drink is just what your holiday weekend needs!  I mean, could it be any cuter? It’s certainly one of the […]

The post Merry Cherry Christmas Cocktail. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

This merry cherry christmas cocktail is sponsored by Truly Hard Seltzer. I’m so excited to be working with them this holiday season to create a cocktail for you!

This fun and festive merry cherry christmas drink is just what your holiday weekend needs! 

The merry cherry christmas cocktail is here! Vodka and cherries and mint, oh my! This is such a fun drink that can be made into a punch. It's delicious!

I mean, could it be any cuter? It’s certainly one of the happiest cocktails I’ve made, not to mention that it TASTES FANTASTIC!

And will probably match all your holiday decor.

The merry cherry christmas cocktail is here! Vodka and cherries and mint, oh my! This is such a fun drink that can be made into a punch. It's delicious!

I am so excited to be partnering with Truly Hard Seltzer today to share the merry cherry christmas cocktail! We are huge huge huge fans of Truly and it’s always stocked in our mini fridge outside. This season is a busy for us – in fact, all of the life events in our family happy from September through December. Anniversaries, birthdays, etc – it’s crazy! 

Since we’re constantly entertaining and it’s cold enough outside, we stash two big coolers on the patio so people can grab their own drinks. One of the coolers is ALWAYS filled with tons of Truly. It’s such a hit since there is usually a flavor for everyone. It’s easy to drink, super low in sugar and the variety of flavors is incredible. 

While we have Truly on the regular over here, I thought it would be super fun to incorporate one of my favorite flavors into a thirsty Thursday cocktail here on the blog. As I wrap up this series for the year, I wanted the cocktails to be incredibly fun and festive for you, just like they have in previous years. And while I’ve shared a white christmas punch and a mistletoe margarita, this merry cherry christmas drink just might be my favorite out of all of them. 

The merry cherry christmas cocktail is here! Vodka and cherries and mint, oh my! This is such a fun drink that can be made into a punch. It's delicious!

Here’s the deal! 

I chose the Truly Black Cherry to make this drink because it was such a festive and nostalgic flavor for me. Truly just revamped its flavors, so this Black Cherry style is even crisper and more flavorful than before! Cherry played a huge role in the baked goods that my grandma would make when I was growing up and it’s one of the few times throughout the year that we have some cherry desserts! She stuffed her butterball cookies with maraschino cherries, she topped macaroons with cherries and she made a lemon jello dessert with cherries too. That’s just the start of it. 

So I loved the idea of not only creating a red and green cocktail that would be a showstopper for the season, but also having one that tasted lightly fruity and delicious. Perfect for a big holiday party! 

The merry cherry christmas cocktail is here! Vodka and cherries and mint, oh my! This is such a fun drink that can be made into a punch. It's delicious!

What I love most is that this drink isn’t overly sweet. In fact, you could even control the sweetness level based on your preference. Add a bit more cherry juice if you like a sweet cocktail, or back off of it if you prefer a drier, more seltzer-y, bubbly drink.

YESSSSS. It’s so perfect. 

The green in our drink comes from fresh mint sprigs. It adds a nice refreshing pop to the drink, without going full-out mojito. There’s also a splash of vodka in here for more party fun.

And the best part? You can turn this into a punch if you like! A bit pitcher is fantastic.

Why yes, merry cherry christmas punch has the best ring to it. 

The merry cherry christmas cocktail is here! Vodka and cherries and mint, oh my! This is such a fun drink that can be made into a punch. It's delicious!

If you’re hosting a ton of friends and want to throw together a quick punch for everyone to drink? This is it! O if you’re just hanging out at home watching holiday movies on the couch, I’ve got you! 

The merry cherry christmas cocktail is here! Vodka and cherries and mint, oh my! This is such a fun drink that can be made into a punch. It's delicious!

Merry Cherry Christmas Cocktail

Merry Cherry Christmas Cocktail

  • 1 handful Fresh mint leaves
  • Maraschino cherries
  • 1 to 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 to 2 ounces maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 can Truly Black Cherry Hard Seltzer ((available in the Truly Berry variety pack or in 6-packs))
  1. Place the mint leaves and a few cherries in the bottom of your glasses. Fill each glass with one large ice cube or some crushed ice. Add the vodka and the cherry juice to the glasses and stir. Top the drinks off with Truly Black Cherry – about half a can each! Garnish with some extra mint and a cherry on top!

The merry cherry christmas cocktail is here! Vodka and cherries and mint, oh my! This is such a fun drink that can be made into a punch. It's delicious!

This is so cheery! And cherry.

The post Merry Cherry Christmas Cocktail. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Vodka Sauce Pasta (+ Party Tips!)

Nothing says “special dinner” more than vodka sauce pasta! The creamy sauce is simmered with garlic and basil, served over rigatoni with lots of Parmesan. This post was created in partnership with DeLallo. All opinions are our own. Twinkle lights, crisp rose and vodka sauce pasta. Excuse us while we sigh in nostalgia! This long-simmered sauce will shoot you to Italian grandmother status in no time. We created this recipe in honor of our favorite Italian brand, Delallo, who just launched their new line of pasta. To celebrate, we threw a sweet Italian-themed “pasta party” and invited some of our favorite women entrepreneurs working in food in our city. It was the most special evening! We want to show you how to recreate this simple Italian dinner party to enjoy good food and good people. Ready? An Italian dinner party menu This Italian dinner party menu is all about simplicity! While the vodka sauce pasta takes about 1 hour to simmer, it’s mostly hands off! You can put it on the stove and let it simmer while you make the rest of the recipes and preparations. It’s truly all about the goodness of simple, high quality ingredients. We used a bunch […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

Nothing says “special dinner” more than vodka sauce pasta! The creamy sauce is simmered with garlic and basil, served over rigatoni with lots of Parmesan.

Vodka Sauce Pasta

This post was created in partnership with DeLallo. All opinions are our own.

Twinkle lights, crisp rose and vodka sauce pasta. Excuse us while we sigh in nostalgia! This long-simmered sauce will shoot you to Italian grandmother status in no time. We created this recipe in honor of our favorite Italian brand, Delallo, who just launched their new line of pasta. To celebrate, we threw a sweet Italian-themed “pasta party” and invited some of our favorite women entrepreneurs working in food in our city. It was the most special evening! We want to show you how to recreate this simple Italian dinner party to enjoy good food and good people. Ready?

Italian pasta party

An Italian dinner party menu

This Italian dinner party menu is all about simplicity! While the vodka sauce pasta takes about 1 hour to simmer, it’s mostly hands off! You can put it on the stove and let it simmer while you make the rest of the recipes and preparations. It’s truly all about the goodness of simple, high quality ingredients. We used a bunch of Delallo products to put together the menu: we love them because they are truly best in class. (Trust us, we’re obsessed with Italian foods and this Italian family business has it nailed.)

Here’s our simple Italian dinner party menu:

*We created this custom box for Delallo based on our latest Italy trip! You could also buy these ingredients separately: we used the Olive Bruschetta, Artichoke Bruschetta, Grilled Artichokes (our favorite!), Castelvetrano Olives, Parmesan Cheese Wedge, Sliced Prosciutto, and Pistachios.

Italian dinner party
Delallo pasta

Tips on how to make vodka sauce pasta

Want the secret to Italian grandmother style vodka sauce pasta? Simmer the sauce. For 1 hour! You won’t see a lot of 1 hour simmers here on A Couple Cooks. Because our core passion is fast and easy dinner recipes. But guess what? Even more than fast and easy, we’re obsessed with flavor. This vodka sauce pasta is so seriously full of flavor, it’s worth every second of that simmer. And what says “you’re special” more than a 1 hour simmered pasta?

Here’s another secret. Because this pasta sauce is mostly hands-off, it’s actually an easy recipe. Here are some tips on how to make vodka sauce pasta:

  • The only thing you’ll need to cut is garlic! If you need to brush up on your knife skills, here’s How to Mince Garlic.
  • Use quality vodka: and don’t worry! It’s safe for kids. You’ll want to use the good stuff here! Don’t worry, the alcohol cooks away, leaving a tangy back-end flavor.
  • Simmer with a halved onion. To get onion flavor without onion in the sauce, you’ll simply simmer the sauce with a halved onion: then remove it after the simmer.
  • Fresh basil is a must. Trust us. The Italians know best!
  • Blend, then melt in the Parmesan cheese (not cream). Some vodka sauces use heavy cream, but the Parmesan carries the show here.
Vodka sauce pasta
Delallo pasta
Tomato can vases: dinner party idea

Pasta party prep tips

Now, dinner parties aren’t just about recipes: they’re about setting a beautiful table too! Luckily I had Alex to help me and he thought of some really fun decoration ideas. Here’s what we did to make a lovely setting for our vodka sauce pasta with friends:

  • Use tomato cans as vases! The most fun idea for reuse: save your tomato cans and use them as vases! Here we filled them with flowers from our yard.
  • Add a simple white table runner and candles. Besides this, our only decoration was a simple white table runner down the center of our table, and some white candles as a centerpiece.
  • Ball jar drinking glasses make a nice touch. These blue Ball jars are our everyday glasses, but the color makes a nice pop for a tablescape.
  • Twinkle lights are a must. All we know is that all food tastes better under twinkle lights! Unless it’s not outside dining weather, in which case you can make it up with more candles.

Here’s how we phased out our party prep. Alex and I did all the table decor first, then made the vodka sauce. We let that simmer while we prepared the salad and got together the cheese plate and appetizers. The pasta portion of the vodka sauce pasta I boiled up right after guests arrived: that way the pasta would be perfectly hot and al dente.

Pasta party
Italian dinner party
Cheers

Our party guests

For our Italian dinner party, we wanted to enjoy Delallo’s new pasta with our vodka sauce pasta and give a little thank you to some women entrepreneurs working in food in Indy. These women are part of the Indy Women in Food organization that works to connect women business owners in Indianapolis to empower them and encourage collaboration. These dear friends of ours are working hard to make our city’s food scene and beyond a better, more equitable place. This dream team helps us run the DiverseCITY Panel Series, a conversation about women, diversity and inclusion, and food. Make sure follow along with these incredible women and their stories:

  • Tanorria Askew, personal chef and MasterChef finalist: Website| Instagram
  • Candace Boyd Wylie, food blogger and spice brand owner: Website | Instagram
  • Ashley Brooks, culinary consultant and founder of Garfield Park Farmer’s Market: Instagram
  • Lauren McDuffie, cookbook author, food blogger & photographer: Website | Instagram
Dinner party guests

This vodka sauce pasta recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.

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Vodka Sauce Pasta

Vodka Sauce Pasta


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8

Description

Nothing says “special dinner” more than vodka sauce pasta! The creamy sauce is simmered with garlic and basil, served over rigatoni with lots of Parmesan.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound Delallo rigatoni pasta (or short pasta or your choice)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (or best quality crushed tomatoes)
  • 1/3 cup high-quality vodka
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 large basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

Instructions

  1. Mince the garlic.
  2. Melt the butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, vodka, oregano, red pepper flakes, and kosher salt. Stir to combine. Add the halved onion and simmer for 1 hour with the lid tilted, stirring occasionally.
  3. After the simmering time, remove the onion. Transfer the sauce to a blender, or use an immersion blender to blend the sauce. Stir in the Parmesan cheese until it melts.
  4. Meanwhile, boil heavily salted water in a large pot. Cook the pasta to al dente (see the section above). When the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot. Combine it with the vodka sauce. Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese and torn fresh basil leaves.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Vodka Sauce, Vodka Sauce Pasta, Pasta Recipe, Vegetarian Pasta,

More pasta recipes!

Love pasta? Here are some of our favorite pasta dinner ideas to serve at parties:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes