I’ve never posted a recipe here before, but tonight I made something that deserves to be shared. Thanks to the Twitter response from @Hugtopus, I decided I had to post it. I used this as a template, but went my own way. Here’s what you need:
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped small
- 1 Tbsp shallot, chopped small (optional)
- 1/4 Half & Half
- 1/4 cup vodka that doesn’t suck (I used Boru)
- Fresh parmigiana cheese
- Fresh (or tube) Basil
- button mushrooms, as many as you want (optional)
- 1/4 cup crushed tomato
- 2 links of sweet Italian sausage (I used Johnsonville)
- salt & pepper to taste
First thing, get a nice big pot boiling with salted water to cook the penne. I used whole wheat because I’m a godamn hippie.
Heat a nonstick skillet on medium high. Pour in the olive oil and add the butter, let the butter melt and the olive oil to get runny. squeeze the sausage out of the skin and drop it in the oil/butter, chopping it up into tiny pieces and browning it until there is no more pink.
Once it’s brown, dump in the onions, shallot and garlic. Saute until the onions start to get translucent (if they all start to brown, lower the heat. Caramelized onions are awesome, but the same temperature burns garlic, which tastes like garlicky ass). Then pour in the tomato, stir it in, let it simmer for a bit. Toss in the mushrooms now if you’re using them.
Pour in the vodka. Let it sit for a few seconds, make sure you have a lid nearby in case something awful happens, then hit that shit with a lighter and watch it burn. Toss it around with a spatula every so often, but be careful and don’t burn yourself. Once the flames die out, pour in the Half & Half and mix it well. Let the mixture reduce a little, then add about 2 tea spoons of basil, and mix it well. Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper to taste. Grate in a little parmigiana .
If your pasta takes a little long to cook (mine did) and your sauce starts to look a little pasty, just add a couple of tablespoons of water and mix it up. Once the pasta is done, drain it, then dump it into the skillet until it’s mostly full, but don’t overfill it; you want room to stir. Flop it around until all of the pasta is covered, then plate it ASAP and grate some more cheese over it. Serve with a look of smug satisfaction, because it is awesome.