recipe // vodka-spiked “no cook” tomato sauce

This is an old standby from my favorite cookbook: Joie Warner’s No Cook Pasta Sauces. All the recipes in this cookbook use a method where the fresh ingredients for the “sauce” warm in a serving bowl placed on top of the pot of boiling water while the pasta. is cooking. Just make sure your serving bowl is ceramic or metal so you don’t get any melted plastic in your pasta. This recipe in particular is great for a last minute meal because I usually have all the ingredients on hand, so there’s no need for a trip to the store. Joie Warner describes the dish as being inspired by a Bloody Caesar cocktail, but being more of a Bloody Mary girl myself, I can’t really vouch for this. In this instance, I had fresh basil on hand so I decided to try using that instead of dried basil as the recipe suggests. It turns out that this may have been one of those few cases where dried herbs taste better than fresh herbs, because the dish was lacking in its usual flavor. This could also have been because I didn’t have a lime so there wasn’t any lime zest, which always adds a nice freshness to it. Still good, but when it is made according to the recipe, it’s definitely better.

Vodka-Spiked Tomato Pasta

Vodka-Spiked Tomato Sauce
from Joie Warner’s No Cook Pasta Sauces | serves 2 to 4

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 lb (about 4 or 5) fresh, ripe tomatoes seeded and coarsely diced
2 Tbsp bottled horseradish
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp vodka
1 tsp Tabasco sauce (or more to taste)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper
zest of 1 large lime
grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces linguine or spaghetti

Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove. While the water is heating up, combine garlic, tomatoes, horseradish, olive oil, vodka, basil, Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper in a large pasta bowl and either place on top of the pot of boiling water or set aside to warm to room temperature. When the water starts to boil, cook pasta until al dente, drain, and immediately add to the sauce. Add lime zest and toss, then serve with Parmesan cheese.

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