Giada's Brilliant Tip for Making Vodka Sauce with a Store-Bought Shortcut

Sometimes it's the simplest adjustments that make all the difference.

<p>Getty Images/Allrecipes</p>

Getty Images/Allrecipes

I find it fun to write about food in the fall because just as we’re changing our wardrobes, we’re also changing our home-cooking menus from try-not-to-heat-up-the-kitchen recipes to give-me-something-warm-and-comforting recipes. One of my favorite warm and comforting meals is pasta alla vodka.

What Is Pasta alla Vodka?

Pasta alla vodka is pasta in vodka sauce, and that sauce is usually a combination of seasoned tomato sauce, cream, Parmesan, and vodka. The pasta used for the dish is so frequently penne—the ridged tubular pasta that’s cut on either end at an angle—that many people refer to the dish as penne alla vodka rather than pasta alla vodka. But rich, creamy, pink vodka sauce works well on many different pasta shapes.

Vodka sauce is not difficult to make, but it can be time-consuming. But Italian chef, cookbook author, and Food Network personality Giada De Laurentiis has a shortcut for making vodka sauce, and it makes a lot of sense to me.

On her Giadzy website, De Laurentiis has a recipe for Giada’s Pasta Alla Vodka. Her pasta of choice for the recipe is paccheri, which is a shorter, wider, unribbed version of rigatoni, but the written recipe says it can also be made with penne or rigatoni.

The vodka sauce used in the recipe calls for making her simple tomato sauce first, and then using it as a base for the vodka sauce. That tomato sauce recipe needs to simmer for an hour before adding the vodka and cream to turn it into vodka sauce.

Or, you can use Giada’s shortcut and cut the time down significantly.

<p>Dotdash Meredith Food Studios</p>

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Turning Quality Jarred Marinara Into Vodka Sauce

To cut the cooking time down to 25 minutes, Giada says to “use 4 cups of any store-bought marinara as well. For that ultra velvety texture, make sure you blend your tomato sauce up with either an immersion or stand blender - it makes a world of difference.”

Although the jarred marinara with vodka and cream may be hot before 25 minutes, Giada also recommends letting the “sauce simmer long enough to allow the vodka to really cook out.”

Which jarred marinara should you use for the shortcut vodka sauce? In our Community Choice Awards, our readers chose Rao’s as the marinara that could pass as homemade, so I’d start with that one. Readers also liked Prego’s marinara, saying it’s the best standard sauce, and Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil is the most flavorful. 

Read the original article on All Recipes.