February 20, 2013

Shrimp and Penne in a Creamy Tomato Vodka Sauce

Last evening we had my sister Kim and my Aunt Ann up for a combined birthday celebration dinner. I know my aunt loves shrimp and it actually worked out perfect for me since I gave up meat for Lent. This recipe has been one of my favorites for 20 years now, and its never failed me.
Relatively simple, all you need for this scrumptious meal is...
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 T. olive oil for sauteing
2 28 oz cans of whole tomatoes
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup grated cheese
1/2 cup vodka
Large (31-40 count) shrimp peeled and deveined (It's OK to leave the tails on)
1/4 cup fresh basil coarsely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
About 20 -22 ounces of cooked pasta
Tomato paste is optional if you prefer a thicker sauce.

Saute the garlic in the olive oil over medium high heat for about 4 minutes, stirring to make sure the garlic doesn't burn. Add the tomatoes, whipping cream and cheese...blend and heat through, about 10 minutes. (If you want to thicken your sauce, add the paste in at this point) Add the vodka, shrimp and basil then season with salt and pepper, heat through, about 2 minutes. Toss with cooked pasta and serve 
This should yield enough to serve 8 healthy sized portions.

I paired this past dish with a light Pinot Grigio and after dinner I served a citrusy carrot cake with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting...needless to say the birthday girls were very happy!
Wishing you a wonderful start to the week.

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