Ina Garten's Vodka Sauce


My husband's favorite Italian dish is vodka sauce with sausage. This dish is actually called Pasta Alla Vecchia Bettola which means old tavern pasta in Italian. I usually do a simple vodka sauce but after all of the raving on blogs about this recipe I decided to give it a try. I liked it, not sure it was worth all the time it took to wait for it to cook but I will try it again and make sure I'm using the very best San Marzano tomatoes. This is a great dish for the weekend when you have time to do a little bit of prep work relax and wait for dinner to come to you.

Lessons Learned and some tips.

-The recipe asks you to strain the tomatoes from the sauce which leaves you with canned tomato sauce.  I should have frozen it but thought I would use it for something and it got all moldy :( Next time I make this I plan to use my own ketchup!

-I also added the full amount of cream instead of tasting as I added which was another mistake, it was a little too mellow for my taste. Next time I will add a little at a time until it is the perfect amount of cream and acid.

-I would definitely recommend adding your favorite sausage. As you can see I tried it with fettucini and rigatoni (not on purpose, I was out of pasta) and preferred the rigatoni.

-My final tip: if you don't know this already I use Pecorino Romano (Locatelli is expensive but awesome and the Kirkland brand is also good if you go to Costco) in place of Parmigiano-reggiano, it is sharper in flavor and in my mind much better.