A few days ago, while grocery shopping, I saw some gnocchi and decided to pick it up with the intention of making some vodka sauce. And then I realized my day was going to be very busy and I would be doing other things when it came time to cook the sauce. Enter my slow cooker.
My slow cooker love has been documented in this blog before. This was no exception. The beauty of cooking vodka sauce (or, really, any tomato sauce) in the crock pot is that you don’t have to start it at any particular time or let it cook a certain number of hours. The longer you simmer this kind of sauce, though, the more the flavors will mix and the overall taste will be richer. When I made this, I was able to start it just before nap and let it simmer for about 8 hours. If I had needed to start it later in the day and it only simmered for 4 hours, it would still have been yummy. I love my crock pot. Seriously.
Adapted from examiner.com
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 2-3 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp butter and/or oil
- 2 small onions, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes (or crushed for a smoother sauce)
- 1 6-oz can tomato paste
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 cups heavy cream
Soak the red pepper flakes in vodka for about 10 minutes. The longer you soak the pepper, the spicier your sauce will be. Strain out the flakes and put the vodka in your crock pot.
Melt or heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for about a minute. Put in the crock pot with the vodka. Add both cans of tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme and basil. Cook on low all day. Or for as long as possible. Add the cream for the last 30 minutes of cooking. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pasta of your choice. I chose a whole-wheat gnocchi.