Vodka Sauce

04bVodkaSaucebfLORich was in the mood for a little sumpin sumpin baked penne, so I went to da Google to see what looked interesting…

Hmmm, vodka sauce?

Yeh, vodka sauce could be good, and then I found a version that called for a bit of cream cheese, and I just happened to have a bit of Wisconsin’s finest that needed using up; along with a bit of nice Portuguese sausage in the freezer that was not getting any younger. A plan formed…

01aLinguicabfLOINGREDIENTS
•1-1/2 lb Portuguese sausage (linguiça)
or your favorite Italian sausage
•Olive oil
•1 sweet onion, coarsely chopped
•1 clove garlic
•1 (26 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
•1/2 jar water
02aOnionGarlicbfLO•1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/3 cup vodka
•6 oz cream cheese, cubed
•1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Note: since I started with my favorite jarred pasta sauce (nicely priced, containing a minimum of additives, and no corn sweeteners), I chose not to add additional salt – and the sauce came out fine, ermmm, really fine, actually; so don’t fret for the lack of additional sodium.

03aLinguicaOnionbfLODrizzle just a bit of olive oil into a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Remove the sausage from its casings and add to the hot pan.

Cook, breaking up any large chunks, until done, then remove the sausage and set aside to drain, leaving just a bit of the sausage grease in the pan.

03bSauceAddCheesesbfLODrizzle another bit of olive oil to the sausage juices in the pan, then add the onion and sauté for three minutes.

Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for another two minutes, then add in the well-drained cooked linguiça.

Pour in the spaghetti sauce, then rinse the jar out with the water and add that to the pot, followed by the vodka.

Reduce the heat to low, then stir in the cream cheese, Parmesan, and Aleppo pepper until the cheeses are melted.

05bPenneVodkaSaucebfLOTaste it – nice, right?

You can go ahead and use this tasty sauce right now on pasta, spaghetti squash, rice, potatoes, or any dish you like (I’m thinking mebbe grilled chicken would be very nice).

Or…

wait until tomorrow to check out this very nice bit of penne, well-covered with the vodka sauce and some interesting bread crumbs, then baked.

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