Saturday, March 01, 2008

Cooking with alcohol and wines

I am always interested and intrigued when I come across a recipe that calls for wine or alcohol or beer. Yes, I realize that the alcohol cooks out, but it's just interesting to see how the additional ingredient gives the dish a whole new flavor. I have cooked with brandy, merlot wine, white wine, sherry, cabernet, citrus vodka, regular vodka and beer. I do keep cooking white and red and sherry around, but if I have an open bottle of wine, I usually try to use that up first.

Vodka Cream Fettucini

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
20 leaves of basil, cut into halves
2/3 c vodka
1 lb. fettucini pasta, cooked
1/4 c heavy cream or half and half

Start pasta cooking. Heat garlic in oil in large skillet until garlic sizzles. Add tomatoes and heat. Stir in basil. When basil wilts, add vodka and bring sauce to a boil. Stir and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer until pasta is ready. Stir in cream. Toss in large bowl with hot pasta and serve.

What I liked about this dish: With the exception of the vodka, the ingredients for this dish cost less than $8. And I still have a TON of leftovers. AND it was fast and easy to make.
What I disliked about this dish: Pasta with no meat is okay, but it's not my favorite.
Cool kitchen gadgets used: My mezzaluna minced the garlic perfectly.
Tastiness factor: Pretty good considering how cheap it was. It will be even cheaper this summer when I have my own basil in the garden and don't have to buy any. Definitely beats pasta and jar sauce. And my daughter liked it too. Definitely a recipe I will make again and you can pretty much keep the ingredients on hand to make this.


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