Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pasta a la Vodka

I've looked up numerous versions, I've had this on the list as something to make, the time has come.

We attempted a "healthy" version of penne a la vodka a few weeks ago and it just did not taste good. So much in fact we tossed it and went to Eatzi's instead. So, I took and adapted this from the Pioneer Woman's Penne a la Betsy. There are several versions of this that use shrimp, as PW's does, but something about shrimp in red sauce that isn't cocktail sauce just doesn't resonate well with my taste buds, so we used chicken. Penne a la Betsy uses white wine, I however decided to use vodka.

Grocery List:
for two

1/2 box of whole grain pasta (I used a skinny pasta that resembled penne, yet the pasta was cut in half and rolled in)
1 pound of chicken
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion
3 cloves garlic
3/4 cup vodka (I found an article that said that the vodka used does make a difference and recommended Grey Goose, so we got the good stuff!)
1 8 oz. can of Hunts Tomato Sauce
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
Fresh basil to taste (I use a lot of basil)
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by adding your pasta to water and cooking until al dente.

Chop chicken into 1 inch chunks. With 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, begin to cook your chicken in a skillet. Once cooked through, remove from heat and set aside.

Finely dice your onion and garlic. Add additional butter and olive oil, then saute the garlic and onion until fragrant and onion is translucent.

Add the vodka on high heat and let the alcohol evaporate a bit.

Add the tomato sauce, stir well until combined.

Add the heavy cream, continuing to stir, then add a large pinch of parmesan. Lower heat and let simmer.

Add about a tablespoon worth of fresh parsley and at least the same amount of basil, if not more.

Add the chopped chicken back into the tomato cream sauce. Stir in the salt and pepper while adding additional pinches of herbs until well combined.

Pour the sauce and chicken into a bowl with your cooked pasta, and you are all set. Garnish with parmesan and pinch of basil.

This was so incredibly good and heated up well again the next day!

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