Pasta with Shrimp Vodka Sauce

Can you believe that this time I didn’t wait half an year to cook another pasta dish? πŸ™‚ Well, since I already had the Cooks Illustrated cookbook in use to make the Almond Pound Cake, I decided to check out another recipe recommended by one of my co-workers: the vodka pasta sauce! This sauce was quite delicious and I have to say I was impressed by how tasty the canned tomatoes were! I decided to not de-shell the shrimp since everyone raves about the flavor the shells add to sauces, but it made it a little difficult to eat. Next time I will probably de-shell the shrimp and add the shell separately to the sauce. This way I should still get the flavor from the shells, but without the messiness of de-shelling sauce covered shrimp πŸ˜‰

Ingredients (serves ~2):

  • 1 can whole tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 1 Tb oil
  • 2 Tb chopped onion
  • 1 Tb tomato paste
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, deveined
  • 2 cups mostaccioli pasta (or penne)
  • 1 tsp dried basil (or 1 Tb fresh)
  • grated parmesan

Puree half of the canned tomatoes, chop the rest and then mix in a measuring cup. Add the juice from the can until about the 1 cup line.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and tomato paste and cook until the onion is translucent (~5 min). Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant (30 sec). Add the tomatoes, some salt, vodka and shrimp. Cook until the vodka cooks off and the shrimp is cooked (~ 10 minutes). Be careful adding the vodka especially over a gas stove since the alcohol can catch fire. You may want to remove the pan from the heat and then add it just to be safe πŸ˜‰

Meanwhile, bring water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente (7-10 min for most pastas). Drain pasta, but reserve some cooking liquid to adjust the thickness of the sauce if needed.

After the shrimp is cooked, add the whipped cream and basil and cook until homogenous. Add the pasta and cook for a few minutes to get coated with sauce and adsorb some of the flavor. Adjust the thickness of the sauce by using some of the pasta cooking liquid. Adjust the seasoning and serve topped with parmesan cheese!

This was delicious and easy to make. One of those dishes that you can make at home for cheaper and save time and money by not going out. Plus, you can adjust the salt content πŸ™‚

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7 Responses to Pasta with Shrimp Vodka Sauce

  1. This sounds terrific! May I suggest peeling the shrimp, boiling the skins for 10-15 minutes with a bouquet garni, and then reserving the broth for something else? Shrimp broth is awesome!

  2. This sounds perfect! I was just at a seafood restaurant with work the other day for lunch, and… i am such a snob.. i refused to order any pasta dishes from the restaurant! it was a chain, and i just knew that for $14.99 the meal was going to be a letdown.. compared to how simple and inexpensive it is to do pasta well at home. am i crazy? πŸ˜‰ this sounds like a perfect recipe for a seafood pasta at home!

    • no, you’re not crazy πŸ™‚ I rarely order pasta in restaurants as well. it really has to be the better option on the menu and ideally have rabbit, wild boar or some nice seafood πŸ˜‰

      • YES! i agree with you! if it were made with morels or something i can’t usually do at home, and it was a good restaurant — i would totally go for it. but the usual chain situation is just sooo disappointing. better to stick with a club sandwich!

  3. chefconnie says:

    I love the combo of a tomato sauce with vodka and cream. Add shrimp and you certainly have a winner.

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