Monday, January 14, 2013

Hearty Vodka Sauce

Creamy and smooth vodka sauce is one of my favorite pasta sauces but sometimes you want something with a bit more umph... more bite... more... hearty. This sauce starts with a basic tomato sauce, brimming with veggies and meat, then topped off with the traditional vodka and cream. What you get is a satisfying and delicious bowl of pasta. Yum!

Psst - let this simmer while you're watching TV, throw the pot in the fridge before bed, and finish it off the next night - you'll have dinner on the table in under 30!

Hearty Vodka Sauce
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (plus more if needed)
1 pound ground pork (or beef/turkey)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add ground pork and brown. Once browned, remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Next, add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes (adding more oil if needed). Add celery and carrot, season with salt and pepper, and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add reserved browned pork, tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until thick.
Remove bay leaves and taste for seasoning, adding more salt/pepper if needed.
{At this point, you can let cool and then move to the fridge until later or finish making the sauce.}
Add vodka to the tomato sauce and simmer until the mixture reduces, stirring often, around 20 minutes. Stir in the cream and simmer over low heat until heated through. Stir in the parmesan cheese until melted and well blended.
Serve over your favorite penne pasta.
Adapted from: Giada De Laurentiis 


  1. WOW!!! That looks wonderfully yummy!!!!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality! I can't wait to see what you link up tomorrow evening!


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