It’s our annual spaghetti western time again.
The Calgary Stampede is upon us and in our quest to plan the perfect warmup party, spaghetti western reigns supreme.
We’ve come a long way from the inaugural Spaghetti Western discovery (a vile online 1.0 version with noodles, cream of mushroom soup, tomato sauce, Worchestershire, mushrooms and grated cheddar cheese. Yeesh)
We are still digging the Caesar/redeye flavour of Spaghetti with Vodka Cream Sauce. It’s light and perfect on its own or as alongside barbecued beef (sliced flank steak) for a summer night.
We are also toying with a penne/chipotle beef spagball in a red wine tomato sauce, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Maybe next year.
1/2 pound spaghetti pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion or 2 to 3 shallots
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup vodka
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1/4 cup whipping cream
3 Tbsp fresh basil
Cook pasta and keep warm. It will heat up when you add it to the sauce.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add vodka and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by about half. Stir in scant 1/2 teaspoon salt, broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and let cool slightly.
Puree the sauce until smooth. Return tomato mixture to pan.
Mix in cream, then cook the sauce for 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked pasta and basil. Taste the pasta and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve immediately.