Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Favorite Pasta Sauce Recipe

Sorry, no CRM today,  only the best pasta sauce recipe EVER!!!   I used to use it to impress the ladies on dates.  Now that I am married I use it to impress our friends when I invite them over.   This recipe was given to me by a old friend from high school named Devon Gifford.

Bowties w/ Sausage & Vodka Sauce

Servings           4
Prep Time        10 min
Cook Time        40 min


6          ounces Bowties Pasta (can substitute with any spiral/tubed pasta)

6          ounces uncooked, loose ground spicy Italian sausage (SuperTarget is the best – not in casing.  Be sure your guests can handle the heat, otherwise get mild sausage)

2          Tablespoons fresh garlic, finely chopped

½         Cup onion, finely diced

1          14 oz Can diced tomatoes (ensure can only contains tomatoes and no other herbs, vegetables or seasonings other than salt)

3          Tablespoons vodka

1          Cup whipping cream

¼         Cup peas (defrosted if frozen)

6 – 8    Leaves of fresh basil, finely chopped (there is no substitute for this!  It is a majority of the flavor.)

Grated hard Italian cheese (Parmesan, Romano or Asiago)


In a medium pot, cook pasta, drain and set aside.

Heat a large sauce pan over medium-high heat for several minutes.  Add Italian sausage and break apart into small pieces with wooden spoon while frying.  Cook for 10 minutes or until sausage is cooked through and fat has been rendered out of it.  Ideally, the sausage will be almost dry and very dark brown but not burnt.  Reduce heat to low. 

With a slotted spoon, remove the cooked sausage while leaving the rendered fat in the pan.  Place the cooked sausage in a bowl and set aside.  In same sauce pan and using the rendered fat, sauté garlic and onion on low heat until onion is limp and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Be caution not to burn the onion and garlic.

Add entire can of tomatoes and increase heat to medium-high.  Using wooden spoon, chop and stir tomatoes.  Cook on medium-high heat until virtually all liquid from the tomatoes has been evaporated, about 10 minutes.

While pan is still hot, add the 3 Tablespoons of vodka.  Ignite the fumes and swirl mixture while burning off alcohol. (For best results – the pan should be hot enough that the vodka turns to steam once it hit the pan.  Be sure not to catch anything on fire.)

Once fire burns out, add the cream, peas and chopped basil followed by the cooked sausage and pasta.  Reduce heat to medium and stir to coat pasta.  Cook until flavors have combined and cream is slightly reduced – about 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve immediately with grated cheese on top.  Accompanied well with a good Italian bread and olive oil with balsamic vinegar and parmesan for dipping.

Happy Thursday!


  1. wow nice post that looks yummy but looks complicated though, not the same as installing CRM2011 ;) Passing the recipe to my wife!!

    1. You will have to let me know if you like it. It's one of my all all-time favorites. The wife and I fight over the leftovers.