Vodka Rigatoni


Total time: 20 min
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 2
Ingredients:
  • 6 oz Pasta
  • 1 cup Tomato Puree
  • 1 cup Vodka
  • 3 oz Cream Cheese
  • 4 spoons Parmesan Cheese
  • Shallot
  • 1 spoon Olive Oil

This is a typical Italian recipe from the region Emilia Romagna, which is one of the best cooking hubs of Italy. (If it doesn’t ring a bell think Bolognese sauce, Ragu, Lasagna… they all come from there!)

  1. Prepare all your ingredients and set a pot of water to boil for the pasta. You can prepare the sauce in the time it takes for the water to boil and the pasta to cook. For this kind of recipe I prefer to use Rigatoni pasta, but you can use any other kind you like.
  2. Mince one small shallot. (Shallots are tastier, but if you have any other kind of onion at home that’s ok too.)
  3. Brown the shallot in a skillet adding a spoon of olive oil. After a couple of minutes add 1 cup of vodka and let it reduce until you have more or less ¼ of the liquid left.
  4. Whenever the water is boiling throw in the pasta.
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  5. As blending ingredient I’m using cream cheese, this is the lighter, healthier option. I usually use fat-free or 2x protein. But if you’re looking for a tastier meal rather than saving on calories you can use cooking cream instead, if you really don’t care about calories and want to make this pasta more than delicious you should use Mascarpone cheese. Click to see the different calories in the blending ingredients.
  6. If you’re using the cooking cream or whipped cream cheese put in 6oz. Mascarpone 4oz.
  7. If you’re using regular cream cheese while the vodka evaporates put 3oz in a pot and add one or two ladles of the pasta’s cooking water (after you’ve salted it). Squash and mix with a fork until you have a mostly homogeneous white creamy liquid.
  8. When most of the vodka is evaporated, add the tomato sauce and mix, then add your blending ingredient of choice and mix again.
  9. Sprinkle everything with a pinch of salt and lower the fire to low.
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  10. Now would be a good time to grate the Parmesan cheese. You can buy it already grated, but taste-wise I find that whole cheese is better, and since grating it at home is really easy, I prefer it. To great it I cut the cheese in small cubes, drop them in the food processor, and leave it on until the grain satisfies me.
  11. When the pasta is cooked drain it.
  12. Throw the pasta in the skillet, add two generous spoons of grated Parmesan cheese, and mix for a minute or two on the stove.
  13. Plate the pasta, sprinkle with some additional Parmesan cheese, and serve.
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    The last pic is an example with Rotini pasta… you can use your favorite kind of pasta!

Vodka Rigatoni Pasta Recipe by Camilla Isley

Zucchini Pasta


Total time: 20 min
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 2
Ingredients:

  • 6oz Pasta
  • Zucchini
  • 3.5oz Parmesan Cheese
  • Shallot
  • 1 Shot Glass White Wine
  • 1 Spoon Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Prepare all your ingredients and set a pot of water to boil for the pasta. You can prepare the sauce in the time it takes for the water to boil and the pasta to cook. You can use any kind of pasta you like.
  2. Mince one small shallot (I always prefer to use shallots because they are tastier, but if you have any other kind of onion at home that’s ok too) and set it in a frying pan. Wait before you turn on the fire otherwise it will burn in the time it takes you to prepare the zucchini.
  3. Take the zucchini and dice them. My advice when you select your zucchini is the smaller they are the better they taste. Big zucchini may look appetizing, but they’re actually less savory. To make you see how small mine are I’ve put a fork in the picture to give you an idea of the dimensions.
  4. When you’re done dicing the zucchini brown the shallot in the pan adding a spoon of olive oil.
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  5. After a couple of minutes add the zucchini.
  6. When the zucchini begin to brown add the white wine and let it reduce. (If you don’t have white wine you can substitute with beer)
  7. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt (If you like you can add a pinch of pepper too).
  8. Whenever the water starts to boil, salt it and put the pasta in. I always suggest that you use the shortest time indicated on the package for ‘very firm’ or ‘al dente’ pasta.
  9. If in the time it takes for the pasta to cook the zucchini sauce dries up too much, lower the fire to medium and add one small ladle at the time of the pasta’s cooking water, if the water evaporates before the pasta is ready repeat as needed. Add small quantities of water each time because when you dry the pasta you should not have water in the pan.
  10. While the pasta cooks, take the parmesan cheese and if it’s not already grated, grate it. You can buy the cheese already grated, but I find that the quality is better if you buy a solid piece. To grate it I simply cut it in small cubes, throw them in the food processor, and keep it on until the grain is right.
  11. When the pasta is cooked drain it and throw it in the pan.
  12. Add the majority of the grated cheese and mix for a minute or two until the cheese is melted.
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  13. Plate the pasta, sprinkle each plate with the remaining cheese, add a pinch of black pepper, and serve.

Zucchini Pasta Recipe by Camilla Isley