Vodka Sauce ~ Vegan

Vodka Sauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

Welcome to the second installment of our Cook Eat Be Healthy recipe series featuring cashew cream!  Today we’re talking Vodka Sauce!  A rich, creamy, tomatoey sauce, perfectly and simply seasoned to enhance the flavors of whatever dish in which you choose to use it.   And on top of all that goodness – it’s vegan as well!

But first let’s address the elephant in the room!  What about that bottle of Vodka?!?  I feel like I need to explain why it’s so humongous!

Vodka Sauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

Last October I had my second rotator cuff surgery in a 13 month period, and I wasn’t able to drive for several weeks.  So I decided to try ordering from our local grocery store via their new on-line shopping service.  It was super convenient, I was able to pick exactly what I wanted, and then either my husband could pick them up, or I could have them delivered!  I figured it was a way to let Mr.CEBH off the shopping hook, and considering it was just me, the 2 cats, and Netflix for 10 hours a day, the on-line shopping experience was a welcome distraction.  I planned our meals according to what I could prepare with just one arm, then I’d make my list and submit my order.  It made me feel at least a little bit productive, when otherwise I was pretty much useless when it came to doing my normal activities around the house.

Anyway….I could lie and say I wanted the bottle solely for culinary pursuits……but I’m no liar!  I could fib and say I would never drink alcohol while still taking an occasional pain pill….but I’m no fibber!  In truth what I wanted was an itty bitty bottle of vodka and a big bottle of orange juice.  You know – for medicinal purposes only!  But here’s the thing…the bottles don’t look very big on the screen when doing on-line ordering.  And being as how I’m used to measurements in ounces, not milliliters, I feel like this was an honest mistake.  Anyway that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 😉  I can only imagine what the person pulling my groceries thought when they got my order.  Lots of fruits and vegetables, eggs, milk, cereal for my husband, orange juice, and the world’s most ginormous bottle of vodka!  I bet they wondered what was going on here!!!

Vodka Sauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

Now in keeping with my theme of full disclosure, I did indeed enjoy an occasional nip from that bottle of vodka, but for the most part, it’s been hanging out in the freezer just waiting for me to come up with the perfect recipe in which to use it!  I’d had vodka sauce before in a dish at an Italian restaurant we visited in North Carolina, and I loved it.  But for some reason I guess I thought it was too difficult to make at home.  I mean, if I paid big bucks for it at a restaurant, it seemed like it must be a pretty involved recipe!  But guess what?!?  I was wrong – and happily so!  I did some research and discovered that Vodka Sauce is delicious in it’s simplicity!  Somehow the vodka contributes to a depth of flavor that transcends the sauce’s simplicity, and elevates it to a level that really should not be attainable considering the few ingredients in the sauce.

Vodka Sauce | Cookearbehealthy.com

So to review the ingredients….vodka….duh!  Canned crushed tomatoes, onion, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and a dash of red pepper flakes.  I’m not sure if vodka sauce traditionally contains red pepper flakes, but I’m not really a traditional kind of cook…..so……add it or leave it out.  It’s completely up to you!  If you’ve read my posts before you know that I like love spicy foods, so I’m always adding extra heat to most my dishes!  It’s just who I am!

Vodka Sauce | cookeatbebehealthy.com

What is it about vodka sauce that makes it seem like cooking it should be a complicated and time consuming process?  Or is it just me?  Maybe I think anything with booze in it is fancy?!?  Hmmmm….not sure how I feel about that!  The good news is that the alcohol completely cooks away and there’s absolutely no residual vodka flavor to the sauce, so it’s 100% kid friendly!

Anyway – down to cooking – dice up 1 small onion fairly small.  Into a large saucepan add the EVOO, onion, and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently for about 2 or 3 minutes – just until the onion starts to soften and become translucent.  Then pour in the vodka and continue simmering over medium heat for about 5 more minutes.

Vodka Sauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

After simmering the onions, garlic, and vodka, pour in the can of tomatoes.  I use crushed tomatoes with no added sugar.  Some recipes call for puréed tomatoes and that would work just as well, I just happen to prefer a teensy bit of texture in my vodka sauce.  I think it’s more of a rustic sauce with the crushed vs. puréed tomatoes. After adding the tomatoes (and red pepper flakes if desired), continue simmering another 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly reduced.  Finally it’s time to add the cashew cream, and to check it for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Vodka Sauce | coolest healthy.com

Vodka Sauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

Vodka Sauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

Vodka Sauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

Vodka Sauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

Adding the cashew cream is my favorite part…I love swirling it together!  It’s just so pretty!

Vodka Sauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

In a few weeks I’ll be sharing at least one recipe using the vodka sauce we’re making today, but for now, I’ll let you decide how to use it. Some ideas would be to serve it very simply over pasta with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.  Or maybe you’ll choose to use it in homemade lasagna.  How about instead of traditional pizza sauce?  Or served over some zucchini noodles with a chiffonade of basil…oh my gosh….that would be divine!  Anyway – for now it’s up to you.  But for heaven’s sake just make it – and eat it – you’ll be glad you did!!!

Vodka Sauce | cookeatbehealthy.com

Vodka Sauce ~ Vegan
Serves 10
A rich and creamy vodka tomato sauce made without butter or cream, yet even more delicious than the traditional recipe!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
160 calories
6 g
0 g
9 g
2 g
2 g
58 g
35 g
1 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
58g
Servings
10
Amount Per Serving
Calories 160
Calories from Fat 77
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 2g
8%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 35mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 6g
2%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 1g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
3%
Calcium
1%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 can crushed tomatoes, 28 ounces, sugar free
  2. 1 cup vodka
  3. 1 cup cashew cream (see recipe at cookeatbehealthy.com)
  4. 1 small onion, diced
  5. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  7. 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  8. Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Drizzle a large saucepan with EVOO and heat to medium.
  2. Add diced onion and minced garlic, cooking 2-3 minutes until onions just begin to soften and turn translucent, stirring frequently.
  3. Pour in vodka, stir, and simmer 5 minutes.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, and red pepper flakes if desired, stirring well.
  5. Continue to simmer over medium-low heat 10-15 minutes, until onions are soft and sauce is slightly reduced.
  6. Stir in cashew cream.
  7. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Continue simmering another 5 minutes, adjusting seasoning one more time as needed.
  9. Serve immediately or store in a covered dish in the refrigerator for up to one week.
beta
calories
160
fat
9g
protein
2g
carbs
6g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/

11 Comment

  1. Hope you are fully recovered from the surgery! And no harm in enjoying a bit of vodka here and there — best to invest in the big bottle instead of purchasing a bunch of small ones anyway! LOVE that this recipe is vegan : )) Being Russian I naturally love all things vodka related. Pinning

    1. Thanks, Vicky! I am recovered and still working away on that bottle of vodka! 😉 I hope you get a chance to make it soon – let me know how you like it!

  2. I love the cashew trick, I use it in vegan soups to thicken. Love this sauce.

    1. Thanks, Janette!

  3. I love that you used cashew cream in this…it looks absolutely delicious and I bet it is! My family would love this…I haven’t made a cream sauce in a while. Pinning!

    1. Thanks, Catherine! And not only delic, but easy too!!! 😉

  4. Haha I love that you accidentally bought an enormous bottle of vodka. This looks like a seriously delicious way to use it up 😀

    1. That bottle is like the everlasting gobbstopper of bottles of vodka…I don’t think I’ll ever use it all! But it was a seriously delicious vodka sauce! 😉

  5. Great looking Vodka Sauce. We used to make this all the time but never with cashew butter. Going to give it a go. Sure looks good! Thanks.

    1. Thanks! If you’re looking for a non-dairy option this is a fantastic version…just as tasty (or more so) than the traditional recipe!

  6. […] certainly shortened prep time the evening I made these.  You can find the vodka sauce recipe here!  For the meatballs, you’ll need ground turkey, a couple eggs, panko bread crumbs, […]

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