I am incredibly excited each time I master a new recipe. Especially if said recipe was one I had thought about before, but had been intimidated to try.  The perfect spicy vodka sauce had always fallen into that category of recipes I’d heard of other people making and loving, but that I was too afraid to try. Enter this recipe, forwarded from my mom, courtesy of http://www.justapinch.com. Every budding cooking ingénue loves to add new, successful options to her recipe book!

You will need:

1 medium onion, chopped

2 medium celery stalks, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

¼ c EVOO

¼ lb proscuitto or cooked bacon, very finely chopped

¾ c vodka (of a quality you would drink)

28 oz canned, crushed tomatoes

¼ tsp oregano, dried flakes

2 tbsp parsley

1 tbsp basil

12 tsp cayenne pepper

1 cup half and half


In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, celery and garlic in oil; stir until soft. Add prosciutto and vodka. Simmer until almost all liquid is gone.


Add tomatoes, cayenne and herbs. Simmer for 10 minutes.


Stir in half and half, and heat for 3 minutes.





Meanwhile, cook pasta (penne grabs onto the sauce much better than ziti)


My kitchen notes: I’ve made this recipe twice, and at first,I was wary of the vodka- so I precisely measured the perfect amount and poured it very slowly. I recommend not skimping on the celery (this is a great recipe for when I have extra celery on hand) or the cayenne pepper! I did not measure out the herbs (I hardy ever measure herbs) except the cayenne pepper. I used fat free half and half to make it slightly more healthy. I used prosciutto-my husband’s favorite thing on Earth- instead of cooked bacon.This was a huge hit in my household, and I am so excited to make it again!

Happy cooking! Do you have a favorite vodka sauce recipe?


Media Credits:

all photos courtesy of my iPhone