I’m very lucky to have an Italian husband. I’m even luckier to have an Italian husband whose mother taught him to cook. And it’s a good thing, because when I met Brad, I knew how to make three things: scrambled eggs, stove-popped popcorn and stir fry. Lord knows what we’d be eating if he hadn’t shared his skills with me.
I think I’m a decent cook now, but Brad’s the sauce master of the family, so when it came time to celebrate National Pasta Month, I begged him to make his famous vodka sauce so that I could share it here on the blog. And obviously, so that I could eat it.
Of course, the internet has no shortage of vodka sauce recipes, so I suggested we set it apart by adding prosciutto and sun-dried tomatoes. We were both skeptical when we saw how chunky the sauce looked, but in the end … oh, mama. This stuff is what dreams are made of.
Like so many dreamy things, Brad’s vodka sauce starts with extra virgin olive oil. He sauteed the onion first, then added the prosciutto and sun-dried tomatoes. The minced garlic went in last.
Next, he added canned San Marzano tomatoes, tomato paste, vodka and fresh oregano.
After simmering the sauce and allowing it to thicken, he stirred in heavy cream. By the way: I never promised this recipe would be healthy.
The sauce then simmered and thickened some more while we cooked the penne. Yum.
We served the pasta with some parmesan and fresh basil. And we each ate two giant bowlfuls because enjoying good vodka sauce is much more important than being able to fit into your pants.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion (we used sweet)
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and coarsely chopped
- 8 ounces prosciutto, cut into half-inch ribbons
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28-ounce) can of peeled San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 (6-ounce) can of tomato paste
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped OR 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
- 1. Coat large, heavy pan with olive oil and heat to medium-high. Add onions and saute about 3 minutes, or until slightly softened.
- 2. Add sun-dried tomatoes and prosciutto and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- 3. Add garlic and saute until it has just begun to turn golden brown, about 1 minute.
- 4. Stir in the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, vodka and fresh oregano. Bring the sauce to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer 20-25 minutes, until thickened.
- 5. Stir in the heavy cream (make sure it's at room temperature). Continue to simmer 15-20 minutes.
- Serve over your desired pasta and add salt and pepper to taste.
- This sauce is very thick and chunky. If you'd prefer it to be thinner, use 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes and 4 oz. prosciutto instead (or just leave them out entirely).