Monday, September 27, 2010

Linguini Tossed in a Vodka Blush Sauce with Sundried Tomatoes and Asparagus



I've never actually considered making a vodka sauce.  It's my favorite dish that I'm constantly ordering at restaurants, but always thought would be complex to make and would require a hefty grocery bill with all of the unusual ingredients I'd need.  My assumptions couldn't have been further from the truth.  A) this is the easiest dish to make, I'm still in shock and B) the only unusual ingredient was the vodka that I bought on sale for $10 and was assured by the salesman it would be great for cooking.  It doesn't get any better than that! 

I was inspired to finally try this favorite dish of mine because I recently found it on a new favorite blog, The Pioneer Woman.  Her pictures and description of this recipe were incredible.  It was the little push I needed to get over my fears!  Not to mention, my friend Emily was coming over for dinner and I promised her something tasty.  Come to find out, her list of allergies is pretty long and she's a vegetarian.  So I knew I had to get creative!  

The few ingredients this recipe requires was perfect for her allergies and is made without meat, while managing to still be a satisfying and filling meal.  The sauce is creamy and delicious and the choice of linguini pasta made for a perfect main course!  The addition of sundried tomatoes and asparagus added an extra pop of color, nutrients, and a well balance in flavor and texture we thoroughly enjoyed.

This recipe is a must try!  I hope you love it as much as we did!

Recipe Tips:
  • DON'T simmer this recipe for hours like you do other homemade tomato sauce recipes.  
  • DO use a little extra pasta water if the consistency is too thick when tossed with pasta.

Wash the asparagus:


Break your asparagus by finding the natural breaking point.  Do this by finding the position on your asparagus that transitions from firm to loose, which will be about 1/4 the length of the asparagus from the bottom:



Break all of them and prepare a pot of boiling water:


Put your asparagus into the pot and cook for 3 minutes:

Immediately drop into a bowl of ice water.  This method shocks the asparagus and stops it from continuing to cook.  You want your asparagus to have a crunch to it:

 

Cut your asparagus into 2 inch pieces:



Slice your sundried tomatoes lengthwise:


In a saute pan over medium heat, melt your butter with the olive oil.  Add the onions and garlic and saute until translucent, stirring regularly for about 10 minutes:


Add 1 cup of vodka and cook at a low boil for 5 minutes to cook the alcohol out of the vodka:


Add the tomato puree and stir until combined:


Then add the cream and stir until blended.  Lower the temperature to medium/low and allow to cook at a simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly.  With 5 minutes remaining, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta according to the directions on the package:


Use a hand blender to puree the onions:


into a smooth consistency:



Season with salt, pepper, and pepper flakes.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes:


Toss with linguini:


Add your asparagus, sundried tomatoes, and parmesan cheese (optional):


Toss, sprinkle with parsley, and serve:


...and enjoy every mouth watering bite!


Linguini ala Vodka Tossed with Sundried Tomatoes and Asparagus
Adapted From The Pioneer Woman
(Printable Page)

Ingredients
1 pound pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced



1 pound pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup vodka
1 14 oz. can of tomato puree
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt, add more if desired
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup reserved pasta water
1 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1/2 cup sliced sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced asparagus (2 inch pieces)
parsley for garnish

Directions
Begin by preparing your asparagus.  First wash your asparagus and break the ends off.  The trick to breaking your asparagus is finding the natural breaking point.  Do this by feeling for the position on your asparagus that transitions from firm to loose.  It will be about 1/4 the length of the asparagus from the bottom.  Repeat this step to all of your asparagus.  Meanwhile, prepare a pot of boiling water.  Put your asparagus into the pot and cook for 3 minutes.  Then immediately spoon your asparagus out of the boiling pot and drop them into a bowl of ice water.  This method shocks the asparagus and stops it from continuing to cook.  You want your asparagus to have a nice crunch to it.  Finish by cutting your asparagus into 2 inch pieces and set aside.  Prepare your sundried tomatoes by Slicing lengthwise about 1/4 inch thickness and set aside.

To prepare your sauce, melt the butter with the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and saute until translucent, stirring regularly for about 10 minutes.  Then add 1 cup of vodka and cook at a low boil for 5 minutes to cook the alcohol out of the vodka.  Add the tomato puree and stir until combined.  Then add the cream and stir until blended.  Lower the temperature to medium/low and allow to cook at a simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly (be careful not to overheat).  With 5 minutes remaining, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta according to the directions on the package.  Meanwhile, continue to work on your sauce by using a hand blender to puree the onions into a smooth consistency.  Season with salt, pepper, and pepper flakes.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes at medium/low temperature.

Finish by adding your linguini to the sauce, reserving 1 cup of pasta water in case sauce is too thick. Toss your pasta into the sauce until coated.  Then add your chopped asparagus, sundried tomatoes, and parmesan cheese (optional).  Toss until combined and serve with a garnish of sprinkled parsley.
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3 comments:

  1. I was lucky enough to enjoy this delicious meal with Chelsea, and it really was as amazing as it looks! Thank you Chels!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a nice recipe, looks great! Love that Pioneer Woman, her recipes are always a hit at dinner.

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  3. Thanks for your nice comments Medifast Coupons! It's the first recipe I've tried of hers and I'm officially hooked!

    ReplyDelete