Pasta is a fun and easy dish that can be made in a million different variations. You are free to add any vegetable, sauce, or protein that suits your needs! Tonight’s variation was a vodka cream pasta. I found inspiration from Rachael Ray’s You Won’t Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Pasta recipe. This meal was simple, yet fun to make and I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a quick, yet tasteful meal on a week night.
I decided to add my own twist to this recipe by adding a little bit of bacon into the pasta. We had two slices left that needed to be used so I decided to chop it up and toss it in for a little extra flavor. I cooked it in when I added the garlic, which is one of the first steps. The instructions below show exactly how I cooked this delicious recipe. I also added some mushrooms to the mix to get a serving of veggies into this pasta. Lastly, I added grilled chicken to the top of this dish to add a little extra protein. I seasoned it with Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute which happens to be a salt-free seasoning. I lightly grilled the chicken on a cast iron skillet and then put it in the oven to finish cooking. I made this meal a night before a hike, so I needed a little extra protein on this dish to keep me going on the trail!
All ingredients used in the process of making this pasta were fresh and natural. I was lucky enough to visit a family friends garden which we call Gail’s Garden to get some fresh basil. Wow did my hands smell delightful after snipping the fresh herbs. Gail’s Garden is filled with fresh herbs such as sage, italian parsley, lemon basil, lemon verbena, and tarragon in which I hope to feature in posts to come. She also has lemon cucumbers, bell peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, and lemons.
The beverage that I paired with this meal was a pinot noir. It was a great addition to this pasta as it was a lighter red that complimented the slight smokiness of the bacon and the sweetness from the San Marzano tomatoes. The Tractor Guy is the bottle that is pictured. It was about $10 and can be found at Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. If you are looking for a white wine, I would suggest a crisp dry white such as Verdicchio or Pinot Grigio.
- 1 tbsp. EVOO
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 shallots
- Bacon (I used 2 slices, feel free to use your own amount here)
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (I used San Marzano’s)
- Salt and Pepper
- 16 0z. of pasta (I used Tortiglioni)
- 1/2 cup of half and half
- 20 basil leaves, chopped
- Start to heat a large pot of water for your pasta.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add EVOO, butter, garlic, shallots, bacon, and mushrooms. Let all of these ingredients saute for about 3-5 minutes.
- Add vodka to the pan, and let it reduce by half which should take about 2-3 minutes.
- Add chicken stock, and tomatoes, bring to a bubble and reduce the heat to simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add pasta to water, also add a couple pinches of salt. Cook until they are al dente.
- Add cream to sauce. Remove the sauce from heat when it starts to bubble. Add al dente pasta to the skillet and serve with a slice of bread.
Share your favorite pasta recipes in the comment section above!