Rotini and Sausage with Spicy Tomato-Vodka Sauce

Pasta seems to be on the menu frequently these days.  After thinking about it I decided it was totally comfort food.  It feels good to eat pasta for dinner!   Along with the pasta, I wanted sausage.  So I morphed a recipe to match!

Rotini and Sausage 
with Spicy Tomato-Vodka Sauce
adapted from Fine Cooking, March 2006

1/2 pound mild Italian Sausage (some hot sausage may be mixed in)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes; more to taste
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
3 Tbs vodka
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (I used shredded.)
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley
3 Tbs heavy cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound rotini (about 4 cups)

In a skillet cook the sausage, crumbling it into small pieces.  Drain and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil.  When hot, add the garlic and red  pepper flakes.  Heat until they are fragrant and sizzle about 30 seconds.  Add the tomatoes and their juices and the vodka, bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat so there is a steady simmer, cover with the lid slightly ajar, and cook to intensify the flavors and reduce the sauce slightly (by about a quarter), 10-15 minutes.

Puree the tomatoes using a hand blender (or a regular blender).  After pureed, stir in the sausage, 1/4 cup of the Parmigiano, the parsley, cream, salt and pepper,  and more red pepper flakes, if you desire.  Simmer to incorporate the cream and reduce the sauce slightly, about 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and keep warm while the pasta cooks.

Cook the pasta, stirring occasionally, until it's just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.  Drain well and return the pasta to its pot.  Add the sauce, set the pot over medium heat, and cook, stirring, to let the pasta absorb some of the sauce, about 1 minute.  Serve immediately.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano.


I am participating in Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Designs by Gollum!  Take a look at the virtual cookbook!


  1. Pasta is in the cards this week, so I am always looking for something new!

  2. I could eat this all week, sounds great.

  3. Yes, this is one of my comfort foods during the winter - pasta, pasta, pasta! Then soup and homemade bread come next for my comfort foods. I love your dishes too. Actually I had just made pasta and then went to Home Goods and saw some beautiful Italian dishes on clearance and since I hadn't been able to afford any when I was in Italy, I bought them, thinking just of pasta. Yours remind me of those.

  4. We love pasta dishes like this...true comfort food!

  5. I sure wish I lived close to you....I would certainly get you to give me some cooking classes! My dishes just do not come out looking like your's! ???
    This pasta dish looks great...
    Happy New Year!

  6. Sounds delicious -- and oh, so comforting! xoA

  7. All of these pasta dishes are giving me a craving and yours is no exception. I've got to try the vodka sauce. Let me know how you like the Head Country and have a terrific New Year.

  8. What a delicious looking pasta dish! This is my idea of comfort food. I hope you and your family have a very happy and healthy New Year.

  9. I'm with you! Pasta is just good to eat. And I love anything with sausage.
    Have a good day....

  10. sausage and vodka--two ingredients i unashamedly love. nice dish, kate, and happy new year!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts