Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pasta with Vodka

I absolutely adore this recipe for Vodka Sauce, so do most of my friends so much so that they give it out like it's their very own! lol!  I am a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due! The credit belongs to Nika Hazelton.

There's a story attached...ready? lol

Before I got married I lived with my mother.  Steve lived an hour away so when he would come down to my mother's house  for dinner my mother always wanted to make him something special. (My mother loved my husband. He was one of her favorites. Heck, she would put the steak through the grinder in the morning to make him a hamburger! That's another story and another post!)
Anyway, while Steve and I were dinning out one evening,  we had this pasta with a Vodka Sauce. We fell in love with it. We wanted more of it.  I hunted for a cookbook with a recipe, and finally I found one,  Nika Hazelton's Pasta Cookbook. We laughed, because who the hell heard of Nika Hazelton, and what kind of an Italian was she? Little did we know that her recipes from this little cook book of pasta's are amazing.  Just goes to show you never judge a book by it's cover or a chef by their name!
Sure, pick up an Italian cookbook today and see if it doesn't have a recipe for Ziti ala Vodka! Most of them do but all I can say is, that it wasn't a common dish back in the day!
So one night I decided to make this for Steve and I.  I used so much Vodka ( I think I doubled it, I know I used almost half a bottle of Stoli, because I thought that would be a good idea, and I didn't let it cook off) that while we were eating the rigatoni we were getting giddy. We were actually getting bombed!  My mom just kept looking at us, wondering why we were acting so stupid! I think she even called the neighbor to come over to see how "stupid" we were acting while we were eating!  Now I know. Do not increase the amount of vodka in this recipe. It's not needed and it will make you a little stupido!
I'm going to warn you, that the pot is a real pain in the butt to clean, but it's worth the soak!

This recipe has been adapted by Nika Hazelton's Pasta Cookbook

Pasta With Vodka, Cream and Tomato Sauce

1 pound thick pasta, I like ziti or rigatoni
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup good quality vodka
1/2 teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup thick tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream*
freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
additional Parmesan cheese and hot pepper to serve

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until just al dente ( with a bite) Drain well.
While the pasta is cooking make the sauce.

Melt the butter in a pot that is large enough to hold all the pasta. Add vodka, pepper flakes and worcestershire sauce, mix well and simmer over low to medium heat for 5 minutes. Blend in tomato sauce and cream and bring to a boiling point. simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Season with a little salt and pepper .

 Add the hot drained pasta to the sauce and toss well. Reduce the heat to very low and stir in the cheese. Serve immediately!
* Cream must be used, anything lighter will separate and not blend while cooking. Just don't do it! Take my word for it. To hell with the calories and enjoy!

Buon Appetito


  1. I have so many bad vodka sauces that I can't remember having it last. Catering places love to serve a tasteless version. Yours looks great, and the reasonis: stick of butter, heavy cream, and lots of reggianio. Your blog never fails to make me drool.

  2. don't forget the hot pepper flakes! This sauce packs alot of punch!