Tag Archives: Tomato paste

Vodka pasta

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This is my first two-way post! So you can feel free to take the fancy or the frugal option, for whatever fits your mood. The vodka pasta was made for a birthday since it’s creamy and unbelievably rich and awesome. But it does require quite a few ingredients, plus vodka. Which down under is a little pricey. So if you don’t have the time or the funds you can make a simple creamy tomato pasta. It’s all up to you…

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Vodka Pasta

Adapted from Cook Like A Champion
Who heavily adapted it from Williams-Sonoma

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves,
minced medium yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup vodka
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup heavy cream
Generous pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil, plus additional for serving
1 pound penne pasta
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus additional for serving

Directions: Cook pasta in well salted water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water, drain pasta and set aside.

Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in frying pan, remove the casings from the sausages, break into small pieces and cook until browned on the outside and cooked through. Drain on a plate covered in paper towels and reserve for later.

While the pasta and sausages are cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, about a minute more. Stir in tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and stir in the tomato paste and vodka. Cook until most of the alcohol has evaporated, at least 5 minutes. Stir in cream, red pepper flakes and salt. Bring to a a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook sauce until thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Stir in basil and cheese.

Add pasta and sausage to skillet and toss to coat, adding pasta water as needed to thin the sauce. Serve topped with additional basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

And for the frugal option…
Serves 1

Ingredients:
1 cup  of pasta
1 tablespoon of cream cheese
1/2 cup of pasta tomato sauce
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
1/2 cup of frozen prawns, defrosted
sprinkle of parmesan
olive oil

Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente. While you’re cooking the pasta heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan. Put the defrosted prawns in and when they’ve cooked add the tomato sauce, cream cheese and tomato paste and stir until everything melts and becomes a nice creamy sauce.

Pour the sauce with the prawns over the pasta, mix in and sprinkle with parmesan.

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Filed under Pasta and rice, Recipes

Lasagna

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Now that I am actually aware that several of my family members do read my blog, (thanks guys!), I feel like maybe I should make things a little more PG rated. Not that I’m censoring of course, my life is very PG and there isn’t a single drunk photo of my anywhere.

Except maybe Facebook.

But anyways, on to the story of this lasagna.

The first time I ate this lasagna, I had had a lot of….apple juice.

And that apple juice was making me very happy…and chatty…and giggly…and dance-y.

It was just magical apple juice all around.

And so, when I first ate this lasagna I thought it was the golden god of lasagnas. Seriously, it was a legit party in my mouth.

So, when I decided to make it again, I was a little wary. I didn’t have quite as much apple juice on hand and I thought the lasagna might taste a bit, well, different.

But gloriously, it did not.

Apple juice or no apple juice, this lasagna is the bomb.

So I suggest you make it.

Now.

This recipe comes from my dear friend Mariann Foll. All the way from Norway, thanks love.

Lasagna
Serves 4

Ingredients:
500 g minced beef
1 can chopped tomatoes
1-2 onions, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup water or milk
Salt, pepper, basil (fresh / dried)
Lasagna Sheets (about one 250g box of instant lasagna sheets will do)
250g cheddar cheese

For the White sauce:
2 tbsp butter / oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
4-5 tablespoons cheese
A little salt, pepper and dash of nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.

Saute the onions until soft and then add the meat. Continue to cook until the meat has mostly browned. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and water / milk. Simmer for 10 minutes, and season to taste.

Melt butter / heat oil, stir in the flour and dilute with milk while stirring rapidly. Cook on low heat while stirring. Let simmer for 5 minutes, add the cheese and season to taste.

In a casserole dish, add a layer of meat sauce, then the lasagne sheets and white sauce. Add one more layer of lasagna sheets, another layer of meat sauce and cover with cheese.

Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes – until the sheets are soft. Leave the lasagna for 10 minutes after baking, so it will “set up” a bit.

Served usually with a salad and garlic bread.

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Filed under Beef, Pasta and rice, Recipes