Vodka Cream Sauce

Description: a creamy tomato sauce, great for pasta.  This sauce will stay fresh for 3-4 days in the fridge. I do not recommend freezing it as cream based sauces don’t freeze well.

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • one large yellow onion, diced
  • half a head of garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 pound to 1/2 pound deli pancetta, sliced in thin one inch pieces
  • one teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • dash or two of cayenne pepper
  • one tablespoon sugar
  • 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • two Tbs tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup vodka
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • one cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • one teaspoon salt and pepper
  1. Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Once hot, add onion, garlic, and pancetta and sauté until onions are translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add whole peeled tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.  Stir to combine.  With wooden spoon, work on crushing down those whole tomatoes as the sauce comes to a bubble.
  3. Add red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to simmer.  Allow to simmer for anywhere from a half hour to two hours.  If you are doing a quicker sauce, keep the heat closer to medium to allow the tomatoes to break down and for the flavors to develop.
  4. After simmering for awhile, add vodka, balsamic vinegar, and sugar and continue to simmer.
  5. If you are short on time, you will need to use an immersion blender or a regular blender.  If you are using the immersion blender, pulse the blender until mostly smooth.  If you are using a regular blender, transfer the sauce to the blender and blend until smooth.  Return the sauce to the pan.  I  prefer this to a regular blender, because I still like some body to my sauce.  I prefer a chunkier sauce to a fully pulverized sauce.
  6. Shortly before ready to use, stir in heavy cream.  Then, stir in basil and parmesan cheese.  With this sauce, you are going to have a beautiful presentation if you have some basil shavings and parmesan to garnish.
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