I am always on the lookout for fun food items. When I found heart-shaped pasta from World Market (while in east TN since the store no longer exists on my end) I snatched them up – perfect for a Valentine’s Day themed meal! Which lead me to think about vodka sauce (don’t ask why this holiday perked thoughts of alcoholic food).
Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen lead me to this recipe. It’s not to thick, but not runny either, and has great flavor which I am sure has many thanks to the full cup of vodka. But I did try something new and used a cup of Chobani‘s 2% plain Greek yogurt in place of the heavy cream. I’ve been enjoying finding new ways to substitute in Greek yogurt for other ingredients in order to add protein and reduce fat. In this instance it made the sauce a bit tangier but thought it paired very well with the already present vodka tang.
While I am on the subject of Chobani, how would you like to win some!? One of you will be the lucky recipient of a bundle three 32 oz. containers including plain in 0% and 2% and 0% vanilla. This giveaway is open to US and Canada (but a Canadian resident will just receive three of the 32 oz. 0% plain containers as vanilla & 2% plain aren’t available across the border yet). To enter, please leave a comment sharing your favorite way to use Greek yogurt. Giveaway ends Monday, February 20th. Winner will be contacted via e-mail and has 48 hours to respond. **GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED** Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen is the winner!
PASTA WITH VODKA SAUCE
Serves 4 to 5
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup vodka
2 (28 oz) cans peeled plum tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound pasta
4 Tbsp fresh oregano
3/4 to 1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
Grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat the olive oil in a large oven proof saute pan over medium heat, add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the red pepper flakes and dried oregano and cook for 1 minute more. Add the vodka and continue cooking until the mixture is reduced by half.
- Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes through a sieve and crush them into the pan with your hands (be careful and crush slowly because the juice will squirt*). Add 2 teaspoons salt and a pinch of black pepper. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and place it in the oven for 1-1/2 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, and set both aside.
- Place the tomato mixture in a blender and puree in batches until the sauce is a smooth consistency. Return to the pan. Or blend in the pot if using an immersion blender.
- Reheat the sauce, add 2 tablespoons fresh oregano and enough yogurt to make the sauce a creamy consistency. Add reserved pasta cooking water if the sauce it too thick. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and simmer for 10 minutes. Toss the pasta into the sauce and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan. Serve with an additional sprinkle of Parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh oregano on each plate.
*The first one I squeezed resulted in an explosion of sauce all over my (thankfully already not-perfectly-spotless-clean) kitchen.