Vodka sauce

Yesterday I made a pasta sauce not from a jar for the first time ever. I’d planned on making it on Monday, but what with my thumb getting partially removed and the last dish lasting longer than I expected…

Since my basic cookbooks don’t have a vodka sauce recipe in them, I turned to the internet. had a vodka sauce recipe, and that’s what I started with. Steps below are how I made it, which is not exactly what was in the linked recipe.

  • 1 cup vodka
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ pound prosciutto
  • 3 heaping teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • One 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • One 15 ounce can no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. chop prosciutto
  2. chop parsley
  3. chop basil
  4. heat olive oil in a large pan
  5. sauté prosciutto, garlic, parsley, and basil until prosciutto is evenly brown
  6. add vodka
  7. simmer 10 minutes
  8. add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and 1 cup water
  9. simmer 15 minutes
  10. add cream
  11. cook 2 minutes

I’m guessing it’ll make six servings. Four so far, and it looks like about two are left.

The sauce was thinner than I expected. Next time I’ll just omit the cup of water. And drop the prosciutto down to a quarter or half pound at most. Normally I’d have used no salt added diced tomatoes too, but when I was poor last month, Deirdre was kind enough to donate a can of diced tomatoes to me. This kind would actually qualify as low-sodium under F.D.A. rules, but when you add it all up it’s still quite a lot.

Salt content:

  • Prosciutto: 7680 mg
  • Diced tomatoes: 1540 mg
  • No salt added tomato sauce: 70 mg
  • Cream: 160 mg

Total sodium: 9450 mg
Per serving: 1575 mg

That does not include the pasta. Definitely up there in salt. Cutting down the prosciutto will cut a lot from that. Not sure if there are lower salt prosciuttos out there.


A couple of months ago, I tried out a pastitsio recipe in the Better Homes & Gardens Biggest Book of Casseroles. Looking at the index, I realized the cookbook had a different recipe for pastitsio 60 pages earlier. That’s my one gripe about the cookbook; it doesn’t group similar recipes very well. There’s five or six mac and cheese recipes scattered throughout. Why not put them all together? Anyhow, the other pastitsio recipe had fewer pre-made ingredients, so I decided I would try it. It’s better.

The following is my attempt.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup sherry
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded Romano cheese
  1. Chop onion
  2. Cook beef and onion until meat is browned and onion is tender
  3. Drain
  4. Add tomato sauce, sherry, and cinnamon to meat and onions
  5. Heat until bubbling
  6. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes
  7. Cook penne pasta according to directions
  8. Lightly beat 2 eggs
  9. Toss cooked pasta with eggs and 2 tablespoons of butter
  10. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat
  11. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth
  12. Add milk (slowly)
  13. Cook until mixture is thick
  14. Lightly beat 2 eggs
  15. Stir mixture into the eggs
  16. (make sure meat, pasta, and sauce are all finished)
  17. Preheat oven to 350°
  18. Grease a 3 quart casserole dish
  19. Spread half the pasta in dish
  20. Spread half the meat sauce over the pasta
  21. Spread 1/3 of the cheese over the pasta
  22. Spread remaining pasta on top of cheese
  23. Spread remaining meat sauce over the pasta
  24. Spread 1/3 of the cheese over the pasta
  25. Pour white sauce evenly over cheese
  26. Spread remaining cheese on top
  27. Cover and bake for 20 minutes
  28. Remove cover and bake for additional 15 minutes
  29. Let stand for 15 minutes to cool and set