October 7, 2004

a hidden flavor

Tuesday, October 5

Some of you might have noticed by now, but I seem to tend to use alcohol a lot in cooking, especially wine. But this was my first time using vodka for a purpose other than fixing someone a drink (and I do have a recipe of cake using vodka in my mind for a try in a near future, but it's another story) - pasta in vodka sauce.

This may not be anything new at all to many of you, but the idea of using vodka in pasta sauce didn't occur to me at least, until a few months ago when I noticed those jars of pasta sauce of various brands sold in a supermarket. While I was very curious, I was a bit hesitant to buy a big jar of strange sauce, for just in case I didn't like it. So I was thrilled when I found a recipe for the sauce. Even better, the recipe, both ingredients and procedure, seemed pretty simple.

The recipe uses penne, but I used another kind of pasta called trennette that I bought at a supermarket in a town on the other side of the island. I have never seen of heard of trennette, and it apparently is rather a minor kind, and seemed to be often confused with trenette, another name for pasta more commonly known as linguine.

Anyways, I cooked this trennette while making the sauce by sauteing garlic and onion (yes I added onion), adding vodka (I rarely measure wine I pour in pasta sauce, but this time I did measure vodka as I had little idea as to how much should be right), followed by peeled and diced roma tomatoes.

Finished up with some heavy cream, the sauce didn't have a faintest trace of vodka. Maybe it was the way it should be, because, think about it, a pasta with a whole lot of pungent vodka taste wouldn't be exactly appetizing to me.

Even so, the sauce had a subtle and delicate flavor - it would be hard to tell vodka's in there, but there's definitely something more than just a combination of tomatoes, garlic, onion, and cream. It was a bit unusual recipe, but tasted simply good.


Estelle said...

I already tried pasta sauce with vodka and I also thought the vodka flavor was very subtle. However, it is really good!

chika said...

Hi Estelle,

It seems that vodka sauce isn't so unusual in Italy, and I think it actually is very versatile. I heard that vodka sauce, with or without tomato, goes good with pasta with seafood like shrimps. I might try that out!

joanh said...

hi! randomly wandered to your blog through a series of links. just wanted to say i LOVE vodka pasta and also enjoy making it. I really like the various posts and your pictures are so great! I think I need a new camera! 

Posted by joanh