Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Creamy Vodka Fettuccine (Fettuccine Cremosa Vodka)

Pin It Now!

My Southern Baptist roots always make me cringe just a tad when I make something with any type of booze name in the title.  Worried that people will associate all the world's evils with the dish and immediately have a negative opinion of the tastes even before giving it a sample.  Of course there are also those among us that are drawn to anything with booze in a title.  Some anticipating the extra layer of Earthy raw flavors that vodka could add, and of course there are a few that are still giggling in the back row of Sunday School class and view the dish as a rebellion.

In fact, in this dish, as in most "booze" dishes, the alcohol does burn off and you will not get tipsy by eating the sauced pasta.

Vodka is colorless, odorless.  It does have a taste, but when mixed, that taste is replaced when added to about anything (that's why it mixes so well when making a cocktail, adds alcohol content without altering the taste... But I digress).  In fact, vodka and tomatoes have a unique relationship.  There are complicated chemistry details that a quick Google search will provide more details for, but the long and the short...

Vodka cooked with tomatoes releases acids and flavors that are more difficult to be released without the added booze.  So, the vodka loses all of it's Earthy raw taste and is replaced with extra tomato-ness.  This recipe can be made exactly the same way without adding the booze.  But the dish would be a bit less bold, a bit less tomato-y and ... Well, not as much fun.

So, call the Vodka sauce a Bold rich flavorful sauce... or just giggle a bot when yous say it, it is worth making!

Here's What I did...

Creamy Vodka Fettuccine 
(Fettuccine Cremosa Vodka)

  • 1 Pound Fresh made Pasta, Fettuccine Noodles (or a box of dry pasta if you like)
  • 1/2 to 1 Cup Pasta water reserved for finishing the sauce
  • 4 TBS Butter
  • 1 Medium Shallot, minced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled and minced
  • 1 pinch Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 Cup Vodka
  • 2 Small Cans Diced Tomatoes, drained
  • A couple pinches Salt and Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Basil, minced
  • 3 Large Leaves Basil, cut into ribbons Chiffonade style for garnish
  • Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese too garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. OK, the sauce will take about an hour and a half to make. Time this to add the fresh made fettuccine just as the sauce is finished cooking. Fresh made pasta takes less time than dry pasta does to cook, so follow directions for the pasta you are using.
  2. In a heavy bottom LARGE skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat.
  3. Add the shallots (can substitute a red onion if you like) and saute for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and continue to saute for 1 additional minute.
  5. Add the Vodka and canned drained tomatoes.
  6. Add a few pinches of Salt and Pepper to taste
  7. Simmer on low for one hour.
  8. Add the cream and Basil,simmer for an additional 15 minutes of until the sauce begins to thicken.
  9. Add the Parmesan Cheese and stir to combine, heat until melted.
  10. Add the Pasta and toss to combine, add an addition 1/2 cup of pasta water to loosen the sauce, more if you want a very wet pasta. Fresh pasta will absorb the sauce. without additional water the pasta does not have any pooling sauce when plated (That's how I like it). Some like a pool for dipping bread.
  11. Salt and Pepper to taste once plated
  12. Serve HOT and ENJOY!

Oh Boy do I LOVE this pasta.

The creamy sauce, the bits of tomatoes, the deep rich flavors that are brought out by the long simmer.

And yes, with apologies to all my old Sunday School teachers, I do love the images that pop in my head when cooking with Vodka,  There is a giggling little boy in all of us.

The sauce has an interesting but muddy history.  There are people who claim this dish was invented in the 1970's as part of a cooking contest.  In fact, this has been a classic Italian recipe for centuries.  If you ponder the sauce, the purpose of the vodka (the alcohol) is to bring extra flavors to the tomatoes.  That has been the justification for cooking with wine since before the time of the baby Jesus.  So, who was the first to run out of wine and just tossed some vodka in the pan?

Who knows.  It is a difficult concept to think this dish was "invented" in my lifetime, but it certainly gained popularity in high end Italian restaurants,

Now I make it at home!  A great "compnay" dish, a terrific choice for a Primo (first course, Appetizer course).  Or just a weeknight pasta meal in itself (meatless Monday?)  After all, except for the 1 hour simmering time which only takes minutes to start, this is a thirty minute meal.


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Authentic Italian Recipes"!!!

Well over 52 recipes actually as I just can't stop. The world's most popular cuisine, authentic, natural, organic, Farm to Table... the Italians started, perfected or embraced it before it became a fad. This page is a guide to Italian Cooking... For the home cook!  So, Cin Cin (toast) and Buon Appetito (Enjoy your Meal) to you all and let's Cook authentic Italian!


Come and find me on Pinterest... Any of my "52 Ways to cook" Boards are worth following.  If you like this post, please take a second and "Pin" this to your own boards... Better yet, if you are part of a foodie group board please take a second and add this post to your group pins... best way to show your Love!

And BTW, if you are not yet part of a group board, drop me an email at and request to be added to my group board... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! (be sure to include your pinterest ID when you write)  Once you are added, any pins you add will be seen by 10s of THOUSANDS of followers of the board (and growing daily).

Rules, only 2... 
  1. In order to join you need to start following the group board as well as at least one of my boards.
  2. And you must ONLY pin original sources, posts from food related bloggers only.  If you are a blogger, this is a great way to have thousands of potential readers see your work,  If you are a fan of bloggers, a great way to share your favorites...
    Come and be a part of ... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! on Pinterest

No comments:

Post a Comment