Pasta al Vodka

I have posted this recipe before, long ago but took it down when I deleted my old blog. However, watching Masterchef on Tuesday, and the food memory topic really got me thinking. There are so many great food memories, and I will still do the post of my childhood food memory, but this one not only brings back great memories, but my husband loves this dish!

When I lived in Chicago, I worked for a Jewish orthodox family, the mom was of Italian decent and wow could she cook. I use to watch her when she made the Shabbats dinners and learnt many way of cooking Kosher, however, when she made Pasta al Vodka, it soon became my favourite pasta sauce. I have tweaked it slightly.

The best part of this sauce is that you can make it vegetarian or you can add meat, I do the latter as my husband does tolerate my meatless moods, however he leans towards having his protein as meat, not legumes or beans that I try and feed him.

I am going to try and be as exact as possible, however, for those who are loyal followers of my blog knows that as a chef, I cook by feeling, so go with what you are in the mood for. In this dish, I like to have strong flavours that all marry together.

Pasta al Vodka
serves 3 – 4

350g chicken breasts
300ml cream
100g bacon
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
garlic to taste
1 tin tomato puree
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
1 cup vodka
seasoning
½ tsp sugar
Parmesan cheese, grated

Fry off your onions in olive oil until transparent, add the sugar to the onions and let the natural juices release. Add the garlic and fry off a little more, the extra moisture will prevent your garlic from burning and bringing a bitterness to the dish. Add the tomato paste and fry off until the oils release, add ¼ cup of the vodka to deglaze the pot. Add the bacon, fry off and add another ¼ cup of vodka. Add the chicken, and fry until the chicken changes colour, add the whole peeled tomatoes, rosemary, left over of the vodka, season and let simmer on a medium heat for about 15 minutes. Add the cream, and let simmer for a further 10 minutes.
Serve with your favourit pasta, topped with parmesan cheese and enjoy.