Gnocchi with Vodka Sauce
Vodka sauce is a truly wonderful thing – it’s hard to really imagine that a flavorless liquid could make such a difference, but it is almost magical. The vodka, when given time, actually begins to break down the tomatoes and releases some great flavors. Any alcohol would do this, but since vodka is flavorless it doesn’t detract from the tomatoes.
This lovely sauce combined with gnocchi, and our habit of incorporating fresh mozzarella into everything makes for a very tasty meal.
Serves 2 -3 people
- 1 package of Gnocchi – usually found near the pasta in any grocery store
- 1 tub fresh mozzarella – preferably the pre-shaped small balls called Ciliegine
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes
- 1/3 cup of vodka
- 8 oz heavy cream
- 1/2 of an onion, diced
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- pinch of salt
- Sweat the onion and minced garlic with the butter and salt in a pot
- Add the tomatoes and vodka
- Simmer at least 15 minutes or until vodka has mostly cooked out. Traditional Italian recipes may call for you to cook longer on lower heat, as it allows the tomatoes to break down further, but 15 minutes is usually all I can stand to wait.
- Add the cream and stir.
- I usually use my immersion blender for a few pulses to turn it into a smooth creamy sauce, but before I owned one the sauce was just fine in its chunky form. Adding a bit of flour can thicken it if you don’t intend to puree with a blender (or if you want to lighten up the recipe with less cream and substitute some milk).
- Cook the gnocchi as recommended on the package. When it floats to the top of the boiling water, it’s done. Don’t be surprised at how quickly this happens
- Strain the gnocchi and combine with sauce and mozzarella
As you can see from the photo above, we added some garlic bread to make the meal complete, and served it with a nice red wine.