Pasta with vodka sauce
NUTRITION: PER SERVING
FAT: 7.5G (1G SATURATED)
PROTEIN: 14.4G PROTEIN
CARBOHYDRATES: 88.1G (13.1G SUGARS)
SALT: 0.3G SALT
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped or grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Large pinch chilli flakes
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1-2 tsp caster sugar, depending on how sweet your tomatoes are
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
400g pasta of your choice
6-8 tbsp freshly grated parmesan or vegetarian hard cheese
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based casserole (use one with a lid), then add the onion and crushed garlic with a pinch of salt and the chilli flakes. Fry gently for 12-15 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp sugar and the basil, season well, then cover and leave to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in the vodka, then season to taste with a little more salt, pepper or sugar – whatever you think it needs.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the pack instructions. Drain well, reserving a ladleful of the cooking water, then add the pasta to the tomato sauce with a splash of the pasta cooking water to loosen, if it needs it. Toss well to combine, then serve with plenty of freshly grated parmesan.
If you prefer a smoother sauce, whizz it briefly with a stick blender.
This recipe is versatile – if you have fresh tomatoes to use up (the riper and squishier the better) replace the canned ones with about 800g roughly chopped fresh tomatoes. Feel free to add in any vegetables that need using up – courgettes and peppers work well. If you prefer, omit the vodka, or add white wine, sherry or vermouth.
The sauce can also be used as a base for bolognese, lasagne, meatballs, pizza or pasta bakes.
This pasta sauce is ideal for batch cooking. Make double the quantity of sauce, then decant into clean sterilised bottles or jars and store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
It also freezes well. Once cool, transfer the sauce to a freezerproof container(s), label/date, then seal and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight or tip straight from frozen into a pan over a low heat (lid on pan) and give the sauce a stir every now and then until defrosted.