For years I despaired of ever being able to replicate a good quality Vodka sauce. It’s a unique, smoky taste that I absolutely love but I just couldn’t get it right! So, when I found this easy to prepare slowcooker recipe at HalfbakedHarvest.com, I was really happy. This Pasta a la Vodka has everything needed to get the taste restaurant quality right. It turned out great the first time I tried it and then I added some key ingredients to significantly boost its nutritional punch!
In a traditional Italian home this yummy dish would be a warmup to some fantastic finishers. But, I’m all about easy to do. So, to make this a true main course, family dinner option, I add chicken and baby spinach. Turns out this is a great dish to cook if you had a nice roast chicken recently and have at least a quarter to a half chicken left. Adding baby spinach right at the end of the prep is also dead easy to do and adds depth of flavour. Of course it also offers all the nutritional benefits of spinach. In fact, adding leftover chicken and/or spinach to a main course salad or soup is an important money saving and nutritional Veteran Move. Try it with a favourite dish.
A further word on ingredients. It’s no secret I’m a bit of a food nerd… hey, what can I say? So, for my money another Veteran Move for any pasta sauce is to try to find good quality San Marzano whole tomatoes. I also look for pre-grated, real Parmigiano Reggiano in place of packed parmesan which is often a ‘cheese-product’. Adding diced sun dried tomatoes in oil all combine to maximize the final taste.
As well, in this recipe, I try to use a good quality imported Penne Rigate. It has the traditional tube shape of the Penne most of us are used to but is ridged along its sides and cut on an angle at each end to maximize sauce capture. Ridges and odd cuts captures sauce on the surface of the noodle. That’s why pasta is shaped in the first place. It’s worth searching for and the dry stuff stores for months.
But, don’t stress… I really am a nerd. Your regular brands will work brilliantly.
Try this recipe. If you like it… even if you don’t… please comment and like the blog. Come back and see us some time!