Pasta alla Vodka

This recipe comes from Playful Cooking, they called it Vodka Mac and Cheese, but J. and I didn't really think that it was anything like Mac and Cheese so I'm just calling it pasta with vodka sauce. This sauce packs a punch, so be careful with how much chili flake you add, I think mine is extra potent since we grind the peppers at home, if you're using a store bought product you can probably add the full teaspoon.

Vodka sauce
-1-1/2 cup tomato puree
-1/2 medium onion, very finely chopped
-1 clove garlic, chopped
-1/2 tablespoon oregano
-1 teaspoon chili flakes
-1/2 cup vodka
-1/4 cup heavy cream
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-salt to taste
-freshly cracked black pepper

Mac and cheese
-2 cups uncooked whole-wheat elbow pasta
-3 cups baby spinach
-1 cup crumbled feta cheese
-1 cup grated parmesan cheese
-1 cup breadcrumbs

Heat the oil, add the onion and garlic, saute for a few minutes.
Add the salt, pepper, chili flakes and oregano. 
Add the tomato puree and cook for ten minutes.
Add vodka and simmer for fifteen minutes.
Add the heavy cream and simmer for ten more minutes.
Coat an 8x8 pan with cooking spray.
Mix the spinach with the vodka sauce, mix in the pasta.
Add a layer of pasta, then a layer of feta/parmesean, top with the additional pasta , cheese and breadcrumbs.
Bake for 30-35 minutes at 375.

This recipe was okay, I wasn't too thrilled about it. Our pasta came out really spicy (my fault, I know). I wished that it had been cheesier since it was supposed to be mac and cheese. Feta doesn't really melt, like at all. This might have been good with like white cheddar cheese or something else like that. I did really like the vodka sauce though, I will be using that again in future recipes.


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