Thursday, March 29, 2012

Easy Rotini a la Vodka

So the steamy summer-like days have finally regressed into the gloomy brisk Spring weather Pittsburgh is more used to. That definitely calls for a return to some yummy comfort food, like this easy Rotini a la Vodka with kielbasa sausage! It can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the sausage, but vodka sauce has cream in it so it's not exactly vegan friendly.
If there's one thing we ate a lot of at home when I was younger, it was pasta. My brother could eat pasta every single day of the week for a month, so my mom was always looking for ways to make different pasta dishes so the rest of us wouldn't get bored! When we first tried vodka sauce it was a really pleasant surprise; the sauce is a bit sweeter and lighter than its marinara counterpart. This recipe is something easy that I pulled together on a rainy day, and you can modify it using whatever veggies or cheese you have around the house!

Here's what you'll need:

1 or 2 cloves garlic, diced
2 or 3 green onions/scallions, chopped
1/2 a bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup polska kielbasa sausage, sliced
2 cups vodka pasta sauce (I used Trader Joe's brand)
About 4 cups of water to boil pasta
1/2 box pasta, any kind (I used rotini instead of penne, because it looks fun!)
olive oil
pepper & spices to taste
shredded parmesan

makes about 2 servings


Whenever I make pasta I always boil the water first, since that always seem to take the longest. Fill a boiling pot with enough water to cover your pasta. Put on stove on high heat, drop in a teaspoon of olive oil, and allow to come to a boil.

When water comes to a rolling boil, add pasta and cook according to directions on the box. I boil mine for about 9-11 minutes for al dente (firm) pasta.

While we're waiting for the water to boil we can make the sauce! Slice and dice all of your veggies and the sausage. Take a small skillet and put on medium heat with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Once the skillet is heated add the garlic, sausage, and green onions. Allow the sausage to brown.

Add diced bell peppers and whatever other veggies you would like (suggestions: onions, cherry tomatoes, jalepeno peppers). Also add pepper and spices.

At this point you can add your sauce into the mix. Add sauce and stir occasionally for about 5 minutes, or until sauce starts to boil consistently. Turn off heat.

If the timing is right, your pasta should be done around this same time. Strain pasta and serve, top with sauce and some shredded parmesan, and enjoy!

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