Feb 012014

Pasta alla Vodka

Two months ago I was on yet another cooking odyssey though this one was very easy. Pasta, sautéed onions, tomato puree, heavy cream and vodka. A Caesar salad on the side, some Merlot and wha-laa! Oh, did I mention there is Vodka?

Ironically, I’ve been very under the weather but I wanted to post up another angle to my writing for my new Bloppy Blogger friends. Food has not been on my itinerary the past 48 hours.

In my continuing quest to replicate Ree Drummond’s recipes from her blog at The Pioneer Woman I found yet another that I said, “Yes, please. I must make that.” Though not an ingredient on the list the first order of business was to pour a glass of Merlot. It was a vintage…ah heck, I don’t know what it was. As a girlfriend of mine said recently when we were comparing alcohol consumption she said, “Does it give you a buzz? Then that works for me.” My kind of girl.

I only had one glass.
Phoenix, “He had three.”
Me, “Knock it off. Go lay down.”

Glass Of Merlot

The recipe calls for one medium onion. I got two because by the time I’m done completing my Edwards Scissorhands impression it ends up being one.


Ok, I got a little too much and didn’t use all of this.

Onions Chopped

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and chop up 2-3 cloves of garlic. Since we’re drinking, more is always better right? And I wouldn’t be kissing anyone this night so 3 it was. Toss it all in and get everything all sautéed up. Salt and pepper. Taste it after a bit for the the proper seasoning to your liking.

Saute Onions

Next comes the part where your eyes light up. I hadn’t been around Vodka in 10 years. It’s an old demon friend from my very first drunk in high school. I added one cup in.
Phoenix, “You poured two!”
Me, “Thank you, Measuring Police…”
Where Phoenix always chimes in, “Daddy is getting tipsy…can’t wait for later if he starts texting…and he didn’t have a date… so why the title?”
*glare at Golden Retriever if you have one*

Phoenix Vodka

I usually steer away from all tomato sauce based recipes (we are not fond of each other) but the acid would be cut out with the heavy cream so I went for it.

Tomato Puree

Getting all of that stirred around. Oh lordy, bring on the Aroma Post feature!

Tomato Puree Stirred

Now add in 1 cup of heavy cream.

Cream Added

Getting it all stirred together into a saucy goodness. Some more salt and fresh ground pepper. Always taste as you go along!

Stir To Combine

You can choose any pasta you like. I always have pasta of all types in the cupboard and chose Farfelle. I thought it should really grab and soak up the sauce well.

Farfelle Pasta

Toss it into the skillet with the sauce and grate some fresh Parmesan Cheese on top. Please get fresh folks it only takes a minute to grate it!

Pasta, Cream and Cheese In Skillet

Then I whipped up a nice Caesar Salad from scratch on the side. It takes a bit of time to…
Phoenix, “Liar! You got it out of one those pre-mix containers.”
Me, “And Mr Throw Me Under The Bus being his ever so helpful self again. Nice.”
Phoenix, “Just sayin’…”

Phoenix Smile

Here. Happy?

Caesar Salad Container

Tasted just as good and looked the same.

Caesar Salad Bowl

Plate ‘er up with some basil on top and let the food orgasm begin.


The pasta was so soft and tender and all of the ingredients married together deliciously. Most of the vodka had cooked out but it definitely hinted its presence in the background with the melted Parmesan cheese. I love basil so I chopped some up, very undiligently and too hurriedly, and tossed it in there as well. Don’t forget to season as you go along! Taste, taste, taste. Remember you can always add but can’t take out.

I’m telling you folks if you want a really easy dish to put together that will make your honey feel like they are having a 5 star Italian dinner. This will sweep them off of their feet. The wine doesn’t hurt either.

Here is the original recipe from Ree Drummond a The Pioneer Woman. She continues to mentor me virtually to be a better cook!

What is your favorite Saturday night dish to make?

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Mike Vogler

I have been told (many times) that I really need to write a book about my life. The past 50+ years have been an exciting ride, and these days I find myself with a great many passions. However, I feel that this website is a much more personal way with which to share my musings, stories and commentary.

  74 Responses to “Pasta alla Vodka To Spice Up Your Saturday Night Date”

  1. I could easily do without the onions and garlic but I’ll definitely take the rest. Food orgasm indeed! My stomach is growling just thinking about it and looking at your pics!

    And Phoenix’s commentary…fricken hilarious!

    • It’s a completely interchangeable recipe so you can add/delete as you please, Kim. I’m glad you liked the recipe of course the comments from my kiddo 🙂

  2. Is that your glass, with the wine? It’s beautiful and really caught my eye.

    I love the sound of this recipe, though the thing which puts me off is the cream. The rest sounds almost like the base of most of my dishes, though I tend to add loads of chopped vegetables and use fusilli (though farfalle is prettier, and has a much fancier name, so perhaps it’s worth the extra effort).

    LOVE how Phoenix is the voice of your conscience, in a way 🙂

    • Yes, that’s my glass. Some super expensive crystal ware my aunt gave me. She gave me a bunch of other stuff (china and gold ware) that I refuse to use. Drives her crazy because she says, “Use it, silly boy!” And yes, Phoenix always has something to say. I’m not sure who channels who between the two of us, Lizzi 🙂

  3. And I suppose there’s no leftovers again.
    Looks yummy!

  4. OMG that looks amazing. It’s really bad that we had sandwiches for dinner tonight right? I mean. We DID spend five hours at a car dealership today but even if we hadn’t…we may have had sandwiches. Or eaten out.
    It really does look delicious. I’m going to copy this and try it. And yeah, everything is better with a little (HAHA to Phoenix calling you out on your consumptions) vino.

    • Hey, there is nothing wrong with sandwiches! I’m a major foodie so specifics please. Did you get a new car? And Phoenix is such a (honest) snitch, Kristi! 🙂

  5. Dammit! Hungry again!

  6. I couldn’t see the first photo by the way…

    • I double checked it and hopefully that was only a temporary loading problem but thank you for letting me know, Kristi! Appreciate it always 🙂

  7. Oh my! This looks easy enough and looks delicious. We’re pasta lovers so I’m going to try this soon. It’s the only time my kids and I can have a bit of vodka. Thanks for this! BTW, I love those Ready Pacs. Sometimes, they’re my lunches. I can’t see the first photo too, Mike.

    • Thank you Mary (and Kristi), I have NO clue what I did. Thank gawd for a cell phone to be able see when I fixed it. That always racks my nerves when I make a mistake and I can’t see it on the computer. Still don’t know what was wrong but I think it’s fixed now.

      Phoenix, “Breathe Dad…it’s just a picture…”

      I agree with you on the Ready Pacs. They are so easy and usually quite delicious too! I hope you like the recipe if the four of you give it try 🙂

  8. I’ve never tried vodka in pasta sauces before. But I do always put tequila in my chili! The alcohol really brings out the flavor of the tomatoes. You might need to tell Phoenix to slow down with the wine, I hear it stains the teeth…

    • That is a fantastic idea and suggestion on the tequila, Jim! It’s so amazing what ingredients can enhance others in a dish, isn’t it? Yes, I will need to address that with Phoenix for sure 🙂

  9. I loved Phoenix’s commentary, and this looks like a really easy weekend recipe! Also wanted to thank you for stopping by to read mt guest post – really appreciate it 🙂

    • You are very welcome and thank you for stopping by here as well again, Tarana! If the ingredients interest you give it a try. We hope your weekend is going wonderfully 🙂

  10. I love this post, especially Phoenix’s feedback! And like Lizzi I love the wine glasses, my mother had a set just like that. Heavy as hell, but really pretty.
    This dish looks DELICIOUS! I am pinning this to my Pinterest recipes, which usually have about a 60% of me ACTUALLY making them, but something about the pictures REALLY makes me want to make it, or mayhaps it’s the wine and vodka?? Either way.
    p.s. I have that SAME recipe for salad!!!! I recently tried making my own garlic dressing, it’s posted to my “Favorite Recipes” board on Pinterest if you’re interested. It’s basically sour cream, mayo, miniced garlic, onion and a little vinegar to break down the onions and garlic. It literally gets better every day. It will go nicely with this pasta!

    • Thank you so much, Joy! I’m a bit Pin challenged right now but I would love to try your dressing. It sounds absolutely deliciously amazing! 🙂

  11. YUMMMMMmm.
    May I come to your house to devour this w/ you and Phoenix, please?!!


  12. Looks delicious! I haven’t made fresh vodka sauce in a while… I have to change it….

    And if you are looking for a quick, delicious caesar salad, try Cardini’s dressing…

    • Thank you, Hilary, and will make a note on Cardini’s! That’s the first time I made that sauce and wowee was it good 🙂

  13. I love the Phoenix commentary! I don’t have a dog, but from this post, I’m guessing they’re a lot like kids–they tell on us all the time!! Little stinkers. 🙂 I subscrbed–and thank you for visiting my blog. It’s always so fun to “meet” new readers.

    • Right back at you on meeting new readers, Shay! Thank you so much for Subscribing! Your post is so funny and I know you will get some click backs over there so I hope they enjoy it as much as I did! Phoenix is a total kid and dimes me off daily. Believe me lol! 🙂

  14. OMG you have got me with my mouth watering and stomach growling (not a pretty picture, right?) Fantastic photos and this sounds sooooo good. Hope you are feeling better. . .another glass or two of wine and you won’t feel anything 😉

    • Your “pretty picture” is a wonderful compliment, Jackie! Thank you so much for the compliment on the pictures. That’s one of my biggest interests right now with the food posts. Is not only the recipe and final dish but the photos. Ha, ha…no kidding on the wine! Great to hear from you 🙂

  15. I am glad we have got Phoenix there to keep an eye on you Mike. That dish certainly looks inviting 🙂

    • I’m glad you found it inviting, Jan! No kidding on Phoenix keeping on eye on me…much needed wingman here with this guy 🙂

  16. Ha! Ha! I love Phoenix, the honesty police!! Nice to have someone around to keep you in check:) I love pasta alla vodka but have not made it. Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration. I should try it soon. Your finished product made me salivate. Not a good post to read on an empty stomach.

    • That’s the irony of my food posts in that they make me hungry too, Marisol! I’m very blessed to have Phoenix around to call me out AND remind me to not take life so seriously 🙂

  17. I recognize those salad containers! Everything sounded absolutely delicious.

    • Ha, ha on the containers, Diane! Those prepack packages sure can be a time saver to fill the appetite when needed 🙂

  18. It had not occurred to me that the cream could reduce the acidity of the tomato (which I think you know is on my intolerance list). I must try this….anything that contains Vodka gets my vote!

    • Yes, you and I are in the same boat there, Becc. It worked out perfectly (tummy wise) in more than one way. No problems and soooo yummy. I hope you guys give it a go! Awesome to hear from you! 🙂

  19. The pasta and salad look absolutely delicious, it’s lunch time right now here and I just need to have a pasta right now although I think I would go for a glass of wine iso the vodka 🙂 Beautiful post and love Phoenix comments throughout the post

    • Wine at lunch would work for me too, Freya! It’s a super flexible recipe and you can add/take out anything you like from it. Though the vodka in the sauce (albeit cooked off for the most part) definitely was an awesome addition 🙂

  20. well I like a bowl of pasta, but I would never have thought of putting vodka in it!
    Have a great week and thanks for stopping by my blog and for your comments.

    • It was definitely something fun and new to try for me, Jill! Wow it turned out well. You have a great week too and it’s always great to hear from you 🙂

  21. That looks truly delicious. I have a bottle of Vodka that I need to use up.

    • Grab some pasta and couple of the other ingredients to your liking and you’re good to go, Michele! 🙂

  22. Pasta is one of our go-to weekend dishes, but we try not to have pasta more than once a week. So many carbs, but sooooo tasty. I think shrimp scampi is my favorite.

    • I completely agree with you on the carbs, Jeri! I just love pasta but, like you, try to watch how much I eat of it. Shrimp Scampi is yummy! 🙂

  23. Ooooh, that looks wonderful, Mike. Maybe I’ll make that for my beau on Valentine’s Day. I won’t have Phoenix there telling on me (how many drinks and whether the dressing was from a box LOL). I’m sorry I’m late to this party!

    I like to make a seafood pasta for a Saturday night. It always impresses yet it’s easy to make. 🙂

    • It will definitely be easier for you w/o a backseat driving Golden Retriever! Your honey and you would love it I hope. Seafood pasta sounds absolutely delicious and I would sure like your recipe, Lisa! 🙂

  24. Yum. My mouth is watering, big time. This looks fantastic.

  25. Oooh…the basil on top is the icing on the cake for me. I’m not too fond of vodka-infused tomato sauces although I like each separately ;-). But I can imagine that the basil adds an extra flare to the dish. And I’m all for shortcuts when it comes to salads and whatnot. They already come mixed and portioned out for you, so why not?! Sorry, Phoenix – but your dad was right to take this shortcut, buddy! 🙂

    • I absolutely love, love basil! I will use it before parsley, cilantro (can’t stand) or anything else. I couldn’t agree with you more on salad shortcuts unless it is something super unique, etc. LOL to Phoenix! Great to hear from you, Dana! 🙂

  26. Leave it to the dogs to keep us honest, huh? 😉 This recipe sounds delicious, as always. But delicious and easy is even better!

    • No kidding on our pups, Ally! You said it…the both of best worlds and you have a gourmet entree’! 🙂

  27. Oh wow! Your pictures are amazing! I swear I could smell the sauce and even taste it! Yum, thanks for sharing mike!

    • What an awesome compliment and thank you so very much, Rita! It was wayyy up there on the yummy meter. So good to hear from you, our friend 🙂

  28. OMG, this looks and sounds amazing! And I love that Phoenix was, of course, monitoring you in the kitchen!;-) Gotta love these guys! Just tonight I was trying to whip together a soup and Gills stood at my feet yelping until I picked him up so he could see eye level what was going on!

    I’m definitely going to give this dish a try one of these cold nights…extra garlic and all!:-)

    • That is so cute that Gillman wanted to know what Mom was up to, Jess! I can just picture that. Hope you guys like it if you give it a go! 🙂

  29. OH MAN! I wasn’t hungry five minutes ago…now I am mouth drooling drop down want to cook pasta like now!
    Hey can we do a swap, David will do some renovations, my kids will love to walk your dog/play ball/pet and wash….you can cook us a meal!
    Would you like us to come there or do you need our address in Australia?
    And to combat the acid in Tomato Sauce…Brown Sugar! Yep I add a heaped tablespoon to our pasta dish every time and it taste so yummy with out any yucky heart burn flavour after wards.
    By the way I like how Phoenix is the responsible adult in the drinking department, you deserve a doggie treat xxx

    • LOL to Phoenix being the responsible adult! Oh hit that spot on, Lisa! I love the barter idea. But, the only way I can get Phoenix to Australia is for the two of us to swim there. I’m thinking we can make it by the year 2030 or so if the ocean current is working with us. Love the brown sugar suggestion and just made a note of that thank you! If it works then I’ve been missing out for 20 years 🙂

  30. This looks like one hell of a meal. Thanks a million for sharing this. I am going to cook this tomorrow. I love Pasta

  31. Good job Phoenix, keeping Mike honest. 😉

  32. This is totally making me hungry now. Thanks Mike! LOL. Guess I’ll have to eat the leftover spaghetti in the fridge just to cope but I’ll be thinking of your yummy pics.

    • Ah then mission accomplished for a good food post, Krystle! Hey with some freshly grated parmesan cheese on your spaghetti that sounds just as yummy too! 🙂

  33. First – I’m coveting your little wine glass. Cutest thing ever.

    also, your photos are magnificent! Good job.

    This looks VERY easy and UBER YUMMY! I would have to adjust it, of course, to vegan, but I’m sure it was a lovely meal for you.

    Love me a good foodgasm. 🙂

    • Dang, I’m going to use those glasses in the pictures more often! That’s several compliments on them and thank you! Just fyi Beth I totally thought of you on the other vegans who have read my blog and I knew it had to be darn close to doable for you. I’m assuming the heavy cream and salad dressing were the no-no’s for you? Glad you liked it overall 🙂

  34. Looks like a scrumptious meal :), surprised you are not fond of tomato sauce based recipes – i love anything with tomatoes.

    • What’s ironic, Rachel, is that I absolutely love raw tomatoes! I eat them all of the time. It’s the sauces that can get real acidic that get me into trouble. It’s so awesome to hear from you! 🙂

  35. Looks good buddy! Love the wine glass and it caught my eye as well. Very cool! And we love those salads!

  36. I just pinned this, it looks so good. I have never made vodka sauce…I don’t know why. I like vodka and I like tomatoes. And I love garlic! There is a fresh pasta shop near my house that has amazing vodka sauce so I buy it there. I tend to make the same things over and over again. Tonight I made the best quesadillas. Ok maybe they weren’t the best, but they were pretty darn good!
    PS. Your Golden is adorable!

    • I’m glad you liked the recipe and WOW thank you for Pinning it. I just have not been able to spend time on Pinterest. How ironic on the quesadillas as I made those last week! My first ever. Good stuff. I’m sure the vodka sauce is good that you buy but there is no substitue for homeade anything if you are willing to put the time in. Time being the key word, huh? So jazzed you stopped by Michelle 🙂

  37. Never thought about adding vodka to my pasta ! I think I will try that next time. I wish I have a golden retriever to glare to 🙂

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