When it comes to pasta sauce, you often have two choices – marinara sauce or alfredo sauce. This means having to decide between an acidic tomato-based sauce and a creamy cheese-based sauce, which are extremely different from one another. However, you might also get a third choice that can be the perfect combination of the two. Vodka sauce is a creamy tomato sauce that’s extremely popular and makes the perfect addition to your pasta.
If you’re a pasta lover, you’ve likely enjoyed vodka sauce over pasta plenty of times. You can’t go wrong with a heartwarming plate of pasta with vodka sauce, but do you know how this recipe got so popular? Learn more about this incredible sauce!
How is Vodka Sauce Made?
Vodka sauce is typically made with vodka, tomatoes, onions, and heavy cream. However, you can find many different recipes made in different ways that feature different flavors. You can add garlic, herbs, chili flakes, meat, and more to make it exactly what you like. Vodka sauce is usually served over penne pasta, also known as penne alla vodka or vodka penne.
While penne is usually the most popular pasta to pair with it, this thick and creamy sauce goes well with many other similar shapes. You can try it with rigatoni, fusilli, farfalle, ziti, and more.
How Did Vodka Sauce Originate?
There’s no denying that this delicious sauce is a classic today, so you might assume that it’s been a staple in Italian cuisine for generations. Not only is the sauce extremely popular and widespread, but it doesn’t have a difficult recipe, so it’s easy to believe that it dates far back. Many pasta lovers might be surprised to learn more it is actually relatively new and dates back to only the 1970s or 1980s. As vodka sauce is a recent creation, you also might think that we know exactly where it came from, but that’s also not the case.
People in both New York City and Italy claim to have invented the famous pasta sauce. One belief is that a chef in New York used vodka from his flask to thin out pasta sauce in the ‘70s. Food historians also believe that Columbia University graduate James Doty invented it in the ‘80s. It’s possible that the recipe was created at a restaurant in Bologna, Italy. Another theory is that a chef in Rome created vodka sauce in an effort to popularize vodka in Italy.
Why Does Vodka Sauce Have Vodka?
You might know many recipes that involve cooking with wine, but vodka is much less common. If you’ve enjoyed a plate of penne vodka before, you know that despite vodka’s strong taste, it doesn’t show up that much in the dish. The alcohol also cooks out of the sauce, so some wonder if there’s any actual reason for it to be in there.
However, there are more reasons to include vodka in this dish than just to include it in the name. Vodka helps bring out the flavors in the sauce and also helps it keep its creamy texture. Alcohol can help enhance aromas in food, while vodka works as an emulsifier that ensures the sauce doesn’t separate.
Delicious Italian Food at Grico’s South
If you love a good pasta dish, you need to come to Grico’s South. You can enjoy an amazing plate of penne vodka, another pasta dish, or one of the many other entrees we serve. We have a menu full of classic dishes made by a talented staff, so you’re sure to enjoy dining with us.
Make reservations for dinner in Nanticoke today!