Whenever I make a big Italian meal for a special occasion this Tomato and Vodka Spaghetti always features as the second course. It is super easy to make but so delicious and will go down a treat with everyone. I just made this for my Mum's Birthday meal and it was a hit. I like to save a tablespoon of the vodka to add to the end so that you can still taste it but if you prefer you can just add it all at the same time, before you add the cream. And of course if you prefer you can miss the vodka out and still have a delicious sauce.
The recipe states 500g of spaghetti so as part of large meal that would feed 8-10 people, but for a main course 5-6 depending how hungry you all are!
2 tbsp olive oil
3 fat cloves of garlic, crushed
700ml jar (approx.) passata
1 tsp sugar (optional)
Salt & pepper
4 tbsp vodka
1 tbsp butter
Extra virgin olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan then gently cook the garlic until softened but not coloured. Add the passata then add a little water to the jar and swirl it round to get all of the tomatoes. Add the tomato and water to the pan then add the sugar, salt and pepper. Leave to simmer gently for 20-30 minutes then taste to check the seasoning.
While the sauce is simmering cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling, salted water according to the instructions on the packet. When the pasta is ready reserve some of the cooking water, then drain the spaghetti.
Add 3 tbsp of the vodka and leave to simmer for another minute or 2 then add the cream to the sauce and continue to gently cook for a further couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of vodka to the sauce. Add the drained spaghetti and toss it through the sauce along with some of the cooking water. Add the tablespoon of butter and a good drizzle of olive oil and stir until the spaghetti is evenly coated and you have a silky smooth sauce. Serve at once with a little extra freshly ground black pepper and olive oil.