Saturday, September 18, 2010

Shrimp in Vodka Sauce

Children can bring so much love and joy into our lives. The hugs and kisses are well worth the colds and flus I catch as a result.

I've been sneezing and sniffling for the past few days now. My head is stuffy and my tissue boxes are emptying by the hour. Best part is...as a parent you can't call in sick!

Luckily my wonderful hubby has been taking on most of the load when he isn't working. Since I haven't had much energy, a lot of our meals have been take-out.

Tonight I was feeling up for some cooking and kind of missed it actually. I had some heavy cream I needed to get rid of and shrimp in the freezer. Along with some other pantry finds, I concocted a yummy shrimp pasta. Very comforting indeed.

Shrimp in Vodka Sauce
  • 1 lb large shrimp (about 20), fresh or if frozen, fully thawed
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn into small pieces
  • shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb pasta noodles
Rinse the shrimp in cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Salt and pepper them.
Heat up one tablespoon of olive oil in a large everyday pan over medium-high heat. When oil is glistening, add the shrimp and cook the first side for a couple minutes undisturbed then flip and cook the second side for a minute or so more. Set aside in a bowl.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil to a now empty pan; add the onions, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper; turn down the heat to medium and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring.

Add the vodka, crushed tomatoes and sugar. When it comes to a boil, turn down the heat to a low simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the cream and cook for another four minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir the basil into the sauce.

Put the shrimp back into the sauce (juices and all) and cook for another minute.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss with pasta cooked according to package directions for al dente.* Serve immediately with a side of shredded Parmesan cheese.

*Try to reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. You may not end up using it but sometimes you need a little extra moisture when tossing your pasta with the sauce.

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