Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30-45 minutes
Yields: 6-8 servings (approx)
This is my own rendition of my italian mother''s vodka sauce. We've never written down the recipe, so forgive my approximations. I like to add mushrooms, and there are several variations on how it can be served. It's a much chunkier sauce than what's actually served in Italy. My mom adds capers, I don't. You can add or take away things based on your personal preferences. A more authentic italian variation would not include mushrooms, and would be blended in a food processor so that it was smooth. I prefer the chunky version! A quick variation would also be to heat plain canned sauce and add the red pepper flakes, cream, vodka and fresh basil. I also cannot stress enough how much better the sauce tastes a day after it has been cooked!
To prepare the fresh tomatoes: Boil a small pot of water.
Submerge fresh tomatoes in rapidly boiling water until the skins appear to be slightly peeling off.
Carefully remove from boiling water and place into bath of cold water.
Peel off skin and halve the tomatoes horizontally.
Remove seeds with your fingers, chop and set aside.
For the sauce: Heat oil, add onion, then garlic, and sautÃƒÂ© until soft.
Add mushrooms and chopped tomatoes from before, cook until mushrooms cook down. While cooking, add oregano, basil and red pepper flakes. (Don't add more oil if pan seems dry, more moisture will boil out of the mushrooms.)
Add canned tomatoes and tomato paste.
Bring to a boil.
Simmer the sauce until it appears that there is less liquid. This should take 20-30 minutes. If it appears the sauce is too runny, add more tomato paste.
When the sauce is almost ready, add the basil leaves, tearing each leave into pieces by hand before adding it into the sauce.
Turn off heat.
Add heavy cream and vodka.
Serve with angel hair pasta and freshly grated parmesan cheese. So delicious, especially when served a day later!