I would say that my garden has gone in to overdrive but that’s not entirely accurate. While last year I was able to harvest a number of peppers and eggplants this has been the summer of tomatoes – producing in such insane numbers that I have started going to friend’s houses with at least a bag of red goodies to share. I’m not sure why the other vegetables aren’t producing, but the tomatoes are doing their best to make up for them! Last Friday I was stuck with a huge bowl of gorgeous Black Pearls, which are between a grape and a plum tomato size wise, and wanted to do something that would be quick and easy – and not heat up the kitchen too horribly. After digging around in the pantries I decided to recreate one of my favorite sauces figuring that would take care of most of the tomatoes along with some of the fresh herbs I had picked that morning. I don’t remember the first time I had vodka sauce but there has always been something about this smooth yet acidic sauce that makes me feel all warm inside – a big bowl of comfort if you will. With all of the events of the past month this was exactly the type of dish I was craving, so I set to work researching vodka sauces to get an idea of the basic ingredients as well as how I could change it up to make the sauce my own. I knew I wanted it on the spicy side, and that I wanted to avoid the cream that many recipes included (see I can listen to the doctor!), but other then that I just kept adding spices (and booze!) until it tasted just right.
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 vidalia onion, diced
4 lbs tomato, 3 lbs peeled & 1 lb unpeeled (the meatier the better!)
1 shot vodka (I used smirnoff)
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp fresh parsley
1 tbsp fresh basil
2 tbsp greek yogurt (coconut or cow - soy tends to give a bad aftertaste)
salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 7-10minutes, garlic should be slightly golden. Add the tomatoes, cover, and allow to cook for 20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes to help break down the tomatoes.
- Turn heat to low and add the vodka along with the spices, then recover and cook for 10-15 minutes before stirring in the yogurt. Allow to cook for a final minutes, using an immersion blender if the sauce is too chunky.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper then serve with your favorite cooked pasta! Top with fresh basil, fresh grated cheese, fresh capers, or some more tomatoes!
While I used skin on and skin off tomatoes to add texture, this recipe would also work well with just skin off tomatoes or canned tomatoes if recreating outside of tomato season. I’m also sending this recipe over to /52weeksofcooking for their tomato week, though I am a day late. Hoping that this bowl of comfort will also help to get me back on track as I have sooooo many delicious recipes to share!
Note: in order to keep this recipe gluten-free make sure to use a pure-potato, corn, or grape vodka such as the ones on this list.