Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pasta With Prosciutto and Vodka Sauce

I created this recipe several years ago out of sheer desperation. It's adapted from a dish that I loved and ordered frequently at a fantastic family owned Italian restaurant in Saratoga Springs, NY called The Elms. I was crushed when they closed and I had no other choice but to try to replicate it at home. Their dish was simply called Fusilli with Vodka Sauce, and that was well before Vodka Sauce started appearing on every menu in America.  It also wasn't anything like the versions I've been served anywhere else.  It wasn't a "pink" sauce.

What I've found in restaurants other than The Elms, is that they use a standard Marinara base with a tiny bit of cream added to make it pink. I don't know why, but these sauces always give me horrible heartburn. (sorry if that's TMI lol)  This version is instead, a cream based sauce with a little diced tomato tossed in just at the end of the preparation. It's very rich, but I don't make it often and when I do, it's so worth the calories. In moderation, of course. ;~)

Pasta With Prosciutto and Vodka Sauce
  • 16 oz Pasta (preferably one with folds or ridges to hold the sauce)
  • 2-3 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 1/4 lb Prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 1 Lg Shallot, minced
  • 1 Small Tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 C Vodka
  • 1 Pint Heavy Cream
  • 3/4 C Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • Salt and Pepper

In a large stockpot, bring 8 quarts of water to a boil.  (Don't forget to salt the water liberally once it comes to a boil) Cook your pasta until it's just tender.  Drain and keep warm.

Sautee Shallots and Prosciutto in Olive Oil until soft.

Add Vodka and Salt and Pepper to taste and cook until it's reduced to a slightly syrupy consistancy.

Add Heavy Cream and Parmesan and cook over medium to medium high heat until it's thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Then add the diced tomato and simmer for another 5 minutes. (sorry, I forgot to take a pic with the tomatoes, but trust me... they're in there!)

Toss reserved Pasta in with the sauce until some of the sauce is absorbed and pasta is fully reheated.  Serve immediately, passing a little extra Parmesan for those who want it.  

I serve mine with a tossed green salad, dressed right in the bowl with a light olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, kosher salt and some superfine sugar.  It's fresh and slightly sweet and it accompanies the rich creamy pasta perfectly. 


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  1. Oh, it's wonderful to have you back! Not just for the fabulous recipes (what I would give to have this pasta dish for breakfast, it look so good!). But to know that you're feeling a bit better, that you're up and cooking and doing what you love to do and sharing your joy and passion with all of your friends ... :)

  2. This looks good, Mrs. B. I havent tried Vodka sauce yet, but I see it EVERYWHERE, you're right.
    Gonna have to try this one soon.

    (I love Barilla pasta too)

  3. I love cream sauce on pasta. I made a creole chicken pasta with tons of cream and I adore it. I have trouble with moderation though and want to eat it weekly. :) And thanks for the follow, I'm following back! I look forward to seeing more of your recipes.

  4. Awww Mary... Right back atchya, girl! I always leave your blog feeling like I've just had a cup of tea and a chat with a good friend. (and hungry too!) It's good to be back. It's taking me a little while to get back into the swing of things, but I'm getting there. It's my bloggy girlfriends like you who keep me going!

    Tracy: The pasta shelf in our pantry usually looks like an ad for Barilla! lol
    I think even the kids would like this pasta. The alcohol cooks off completely, its got cheese in it and it's not spicy... Just full of flavor. Let me know if you give it a try, OK? :~) How's Seanie doing?

    Elsa: I'm not so good at the moderation thing either. :~) The way I try to curb my intake is to make it a point to wait a decent period of time between cream sauces. (At least 3 weeks LOL) I know if I made them more often, I'd eat my way into a new pant size. Thanks for the follow back! I'll be making regular stops at your place too!

  5. Yummy, looks good. I love bacon, Italian bacon is my least favorite I must admit, but it's still bacon, so I am happy.


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