A nice change from your typical tomato sauce! If you’re worried about the alcohol, don’t be! It cooks off and cannot be tasted. It simply helps to enhance the flavors.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
- In large skillet, heat oil over moderate heat. Remove casing from sausage and add to skillet. Cook, breaking up the meat, until brown. Add garlic and red pepper and cook, stirring until garlic is golden brown.
- Add tomatoes and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
- Add vodka and cream and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and add pasta, toss for 1 minute. Stir in fresh parsley and serve!
What does the vodka bring to the dish?
Vodka is frequently used in cooking. One look at the menu of an Italian restaurant or the pasta aisle should tell you that. Penne alla vodka is a classic pasta dish with a creamy tomato sauce. The vodka helps to bring out new flavors in the tomatoes, as well as bind the acidic tomato juices with cream, olive oil and and water. Plus, vodka sauce is just delicious.
Vodka will add a boozy kick to most recipes, but if the vodka is cooked the alcohol will burn off. Vodka acts as an emulsifier to bind oils and water. Because vodka is relatively flavorless, it won’t overpower your dish unless you add too much — then it will just taste like alcohol.