Vegetarian Vodka Sauce

05bVodkaSaucePennePlatebfLOSometimes, you just want a nice bowl of pasta with a zippy sauce, but mebbe could do without adding meat (we are just over the holidays, and all that excess, after all).

This sauce, being a vodka sauce, is not gonna win any awards for diet cuisine, what with the three different cheeses and all, but, I saved quite a bit of calories, fat, and cholesterol by using creamed cottage cheese in place of cream cheese or ricotta, and, like I said in the beginning… I didn’t add no meat – just ‘shrooms and baby spinach.

01dGratedGranabfLOINGREDIENTS
•1/2 lb sliced ‘shrooms
Seasoned salt
Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce
(or your favorite hot sauce), optional
•Butter
•Olive oil
•1 onion, diced
•2 cloves garlic, minced
01bCottageCheesebfLO•1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 (26 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
•1/2 jar spicy veggie juice
•1/3 cup vodka
•3/4 cup creamed cottage cheese
•1 or 2 bay leaves
•1/2 tsp dried basil
•1/4 cup Parmesan (I used some Grana I had in my cheese drawer)
•Baby spinach
•1/3 cup diced Provolone

01cCreamedCottageChbfLOFirst things first, grate the Parmesan (or Grana) and set aside, then place the cottage cheese in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse until smooth. If you have a handy dandy mini processor, this is the perfect time to use it.

01aShroomsbfLONote: I am using the creamed cottage cheese (4% milk fat – compare the ingredients required to make that ‘lite’ cottage cheese) to save (big) on fat and calories over regular cream or ricotta cheeses without all of the stuff added to other ‘lite’ options. The finished sauce will be mebbe a little grainier looking, but will still taste rich and creamy and delicious. Little steps, people, to get to a better, healthier dinner.

Melt a tablespoon of butter with a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat, then add the sliced ‘shrooms. Sprinkle with seasoned salt, toss to coat, then sauté for four or five minutes.

02bGarlicAleppobfLOAdd a bit (mebbe a teaspoon or two, depending on your taste) of Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce (or your preferred hot sauce) and continue to sauté until pan liquids are cooked away. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, then the onion and cook for three minutes.

Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, and Aleppo pepper and cook for another two minutes.

04aAddSpinachShroomsbfLOAdd the spaghetti sauce, then rinse the jar out with the veggie juice and add that to the pot, followed by the vodka

Reduce the heat to low, then stir in the creamed cottage cheese, Parmesan, bay leaf, and basil and cook, stirring often until the cheeses are melted – about 30 minutes.

04bVeggieVodkaSaucebfLORemove the bay leaf and add in the ‘shrooms and the baby spinach along with the diced Provolone. Raise the heat a bit and cook until the spinach is wilted and the Provolone melted.

Serve.

We had ours over penne with garlic bread and thought it very nice.

Tonight, I am upping the veggie stakes by serving the leftover sauce over oven fried eggplant slices with a nice bit of aged Provolone melted over the top. Hey, I cut out the meat, so that means I get to use extra cheese, right?

Works for me…

This entry was posted in Pasta, Sauces/Jellies/Condiments and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Vegetarian Vodka Sauce

  1. Golnaz says:

    Seems Yum Yum! 🙂 I was just wondering how Vodka sauces are made so they are lighter in color! 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.