Vodka sauce usually has a pinkish hue and is creamier and richer texture than regular marinara, thanks to the additon of vodka and cream.
With this version, however, I use half and half instead of the cream.
This dish is a vibrant mix of sautéed garlic, shallots , onions, tomatoes, and vodka, tempered with half and half.
This Italian-American sauce is usually tossed with penne. Make a heathy meal of it by topping the pasta and sauce with slices of boneless chicken breast.
This is an extremely simple pasta sauce to prepare, making it ideal for a hearty weeknight dinner.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 small onion, finely diced (1 cup)
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 (26-ounce) low-sodium can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
- ½ cup vodka
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ cup half-and-half
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 cups cooked whole wheat penne pasta
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in strips
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
- Fresh Parmesan
- Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and shallot and cook until soft and translucent, 6-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, vodka, and crushed red pepper, then bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce reduces slightly, about 10 minutes.
- Add half-and-half, and cook until sauce reduces, 5 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper.
- To season the chicken breasts, sprinkle the chicken strips with the oregano, salt and black pepper.
- In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil and add the chicken strips.
- Cook the chicken thoroughly, until no pink remains. Remove the chicken and set aside.
- Place ⅔ cup pasta in a bowl and top with ½ cup vodka sauce.
- Arrange 2 ounces of chicken on top of pasta and garnish with chopped basil, parsley and fresh parmesan.
- Adapted from Cooking light magazine!