Spicy Vodka Pasta with MeatballsAugust 13, 2009
When I go home, I almost always make some lasagna. It’s become one of “my” dishes, and my parents love it when I leave at least one in the freezer for later consumption. This time I felt like making something new for them and, with the help of my sister and her boyfriend, we settled on a pasta dish with meatballs. To make it extra special, I decided to make a spicy vodka cream sauce to top it off. We had it with a green salad and roasted garlic bread, plus tiramisu for dessert. I (lamely) forgot to take a picture of the dessert, but I promise to remember next time!
- 4 T olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 T dried oregano
- 2 T dried basil
- 1 T dried parsley
- Salt and pepper
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 1 large can crushed tomatoes
- 1 small crown of broccoli, chopped up
- Approx. 1/2 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 1 T crushed red pepper (more or less, depending on how spicy you like it)
- 1 bag frozen Italian meatballs (or make some from scratch!)
- 1/2 c vodka
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup cream (I’ve used both light and heavy; take your pick)
- Fresh mozzarella
- Fresh basil
- Fresh pasta
- Heat olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions and garlic. Stir occasionally as they soften and begin to brown.
- Mix in the spices and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the tomato paste and heat through. Add the crushed tomatoes with their juice; mix well.
- When simmering, add broccoli and mushrooms. Stir in the pepper flakes.
- Add meatballs and return to a simmer. Frozen meatballs will take between 5 and 10 minutes to thaw and heat through.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions. Drain.
- Add vodka to the sauce and bring to near boil. Remove from heat. Stir in cream.
- Roughly dice fresh mozzarella and chop the fresh basil. (I like to drizzle the mozzarella with some balsamic vinegar, but you don’t have to).
- Toss the pasta with the sauce and meatballs. Gently stir in the fresh mozzarella and basil.
- Pour spicy vodka pasta into a serving dish. Garnish with fresh basil and grated cheese, if desired.