cheese cavatelli with vodka sauce and pesto

November 17th, 2007 · 4 Comments

img_2085.JPG

yesterday was busy.  and i’m used to things being pretty cruisy.  cruisy means you do what you want, when you want and just about anything can get put off for another day.  all plans stay flexible and i never ever leave the house before 11 am.  please don’t hate me cause i’m cruisy…

but yesterday was busy.  and i’m not wired for busy – yet.  but i’m an adaptable kinda gal and i’ll ease into this.  because i’m in for a lively period coming up here.  with deadlines.  DEADlines.  just the mere word is enough to scare the bejeezus out of you.

so yesterday at 4:30 i’m in the middle of ‘whole foods’ trying to decide what i’m making for dinner.  my kid and her kid were coming over and i wanted to make her something she’d love.  i remembered the cheese cavatelli from lazzaroli’s in my freezer along with the leftover pesto from the summer and i figured i could whip up a vodka sauce pretty quickly.

i had a can of san marzano crushed tomatoes so i grabbed that from the pantry, lightly sauteed some garlic in some olive oil added a pinch of salt and the tomatoes and let it cook for a few minutes.  then i added a few glugs of vodka, cooked that down and then some cream.  done.  easy.  fast.  perfect! 

vodka sauce is a debatable issue among the foodie crowd.  some say it’s nothing more than a gimmick that came about from a marketing campaign to sell more vodka back in the 70′s.  others say that frank sinatra invented it.  but after a bit of googling i read that the vodka is used to release the acids and flavor in the sauce and also to enhance the sweetness of the cream.  and even if vodka doesn’t have much of a flavor on its own, when mixed with the other ingredients it acts as a flavor enhancer.  and i believe everything i read on the internet.  so i’m going with that.

the 5 year old got a chocolate cupcake with a colorful buttercream turkey on top.  it was a huge smash success, perhaps because i agreed for it to be his first course before his chef boyardee.  we’ve implemented the ’no vodka’ rule for the kid.  but that’s just us.

anyway, he was the designated driver.

Tags: pasta · pesto

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 FireDog // Nov 18, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    Ah, so the vodka really is a flavor enhancer. Sayeth Absolute.com!
    That really is a quick sauce. Quick is good… for me.

  • 2 annie // Nov 18, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    Hey claudia, I have to say that I made rigatoni with a vodka-tomato-cream sauce tonight, and my husband HATED it because he said he could taste the alcohol really strongly. I cooked the sauce more and added more cream and he pronounced it “edible” but I know he never wants to see it again. I thought it was pretty good, although I liked it better after I tinkered with it because it did have kind of a strong “bite” before I cooked it longer. Could you taste the vodka? Was it strong? Did you use real cream or half and half?

  • 3 claudia // Nov 18, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    I cooked it down very well on a high heat
    I couldn’t taste any alcohol – at all
    I used real cream (she’s a size 4)

  • 4 lauren // Nov 19, 2007 at 11:06 am

    i will defend vodka sauce to my dying day as completely yummy. but then i’m also known to unapologetically eat unsophisticated foods. anyway, to any doubters out there- as i have eaten it wherever served- done right it shouldn’t taste like alchohol. there should be more of a cream taste than alcohol.
    and the kid drove us home just fine off his super high sugar buzz.
    (actually he fell asleep in the back seat drooling after 1.3 miles)

Leave a Comment