Monday, December 31, 2007

Cleaning Out The Fridge

In preparation for the "new years resolution" diet, I need to use up the food items in my house that we can not eat. I absolutely hate throwing away food. Something about my mom telling me kids in Africa are dying of hunger. Anyway, #1 on the list of things you can no longer eat, heavy cream. :( My friends would tell you that I am the only person they know who cooks with heavy cream. I don't do it often but there are times its called for. Like in Vodka Sauce. I don't know that I would ever make this with milk or half and half.
This recipe is from Williams-Sonoma. I added the shrimp at the last minute since it was already pre-cooked.

Penne Alla Vokda Sauce
5 large tomatoes ** I didn't have any fresh tomatoes, so I used a 14.5 oz can and drained it well
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup vodka
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 lb. penne
1/2 cup heavy cream
Leaves from 3 or 4 large fresh flat-leaf parsley
sprigs, coarsely chopped

Peel and seed the tomatoes, then cut them into small dice. If the tomatoes are very juicy, drain them for about 10 minutes in a colander. Set aside.

In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until just starting to turn golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the stovetop and add the vodka. Return the pan to medium heat and cook until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 10 to 12 minutes. Drain well and add the pasta to the fry pan.

Add the cream and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the pasta is well coated with the sauce, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Pour into a warmed large, shallow bowl. Add the parsley and toss briefly. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

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