I don't feel like cooking. Neither do you. You're probably in a Thanksgiving coma and were cooking for days. Or perhaps you weren't cooking but were eating excessively and wondering when you were going to stop. Whatever you're feeling now, it's not excitement about eating. But tonight, you will feel differently. Tonight, you have to eat. Your spouse or significant other or your kids also have to eat. Plus, it's cold out. December. Do you really feel like going out?
This is the dish I make when i don't really feel like cooking for a while and I want everyone, including myself, to remember that we once ate well and would again. It's pasta, made with cream, vodka and canned tomatoes. It is ridiculously delicious and easy to throw together. I made it last Monday night and told my kids, "Enjoy this now because there will be no more homemade food until Thanksgiving." I meant it. The night before Thanksgiving, we sipped soup at Panera.
The beauty of this dish is it tastes expensive but is cheap to make. You probably have all the ingredients on hand. If not, I bet you only need to buy or borrow parsley. It's rich and filling and a little goes a long way. If you're feeling virtuous or gluten-free and dairy-allergic, you can substitute almond milk for the cream, skip the Parmesan cheese and substitute gluten-free pasta for the regular stuff. Or you can just give in to gluttony and make it the way it's supposed to be made. No matter what: Do not skip the egg at the end. That gives the dish its depth and lushness. It's cold out and we're in for a long winter. The world keeps pelting us with bad news. This dish warms you down to your bones. It also freezes well. But the beauty of it is it will make you and everyone you eat with feel that everything might be alright, at least for tonight.
Farfalle in Vodka Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ cup vodka
5 canned plum tomatoes (1/2 cup)
½ cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
8 fresh sage leaves (2 teaspoons chopped)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 extra large egg yolk
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 package farfalle (12-16 ounces, I used egg noodles)
(Yield: 6 small servings)
In a large shallow skillet, heat olive oil; add butter and sauté onion and garlic until softened. Do not let it brown. Carefully add vodka and let it reduce.
Add tomatoes, stock, cream, sage and salt. Simmer sauce using a wire whisk to bring sauce together. Simmer until sauce has thickened and coats a spoon.
Set sauce aside until pasta is drained and ready to serve.
In a large 8-10 quart pot, boil pasta in salted water. When it's done, drain and set aside.
Returning to the sauce, heat the cream mixture. Add a little of the hot sauce to the egg yolk. Whisk egg into warm sauce and remove from heat quickly. Toss in cheese, sprinkle with parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
(Note: If you want to save sauce to freeze later, serve it separately and pour sauce on individual plates).