creamy vodka marinara sauce

creamy vodka marinara sauce

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Sometimes my eyes get bigger than my stomach! In other words, sometimes when I’m grocery shopping, especially at Costco, I sometimes am motivated to load up on perishables because they’re such a great buy and the quantity is at least double that of the same price at a regular grocer. This scenario is precisely what happens a lot with tomatoes. I just love the heirloom tomatoes. And, I can’t pass up the Campari tomatoes. And, alas, they sit for days and maybe into a week or more on my counter. Yes, I’m using them, but with just the two of us, it’s hard for us to consume this big quantity. That’s where this creamy vodka marinara sauce was born.

I can’t stand to waste. Born and reared in southern West Virginia, coal-mining country, Mom never wasted anything. Most everything, particularly food was recycled and reinvented to be used in something else. Stale bread was saved for dressing, puddings or French toast. Small amounts of beans were frozen and saved for the next pot of vegetable soup. Plastic tubs and containers that things came in were cleaned and used for storage of other things.  Even the drippings from frying bacon were considered ‘liquid gold’ and this fabulous seasoning grease was stored in jars or cans sure to be used when cooking something else whether frying potatoes or seasoning vegetables.

So when the about seven plus day old cherry heirloom tomatoes and a few of the Campari tomatoes came near their end of life for deliciousness for typical uses, salads, caprese, sandwiches, and more, I couldn’t bear to toss out my wrinkled aging sweet critters that still had great taste. I must say that this recipe totally refurbished them into something glorious and beautiful. I could have used them in soups or stews or even in a pot roast, but making this creamy vodka marinara sauce gave me several options, as you’ll see below, for using them over the next few days!

creamy vodka marinara sauce

creamy vodka marinara sauce

Yield: 3-4 cups of sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 cups tomatoes, can be older and wrinkled, I used Campari and heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped + more for garnish
  • ¼ cup vodka, can omit or substitute pineapple juice
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. coarse ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning mixture
  • ½ tsp. red chili flakes
  • 8 oz. burrata cheese, can substitute grated parmesan

Instructions

  • Put the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, one cup of fresh basil and vodka in a food processor and pulse into a fairly smooth mixture. Some chunkiness might remain.
  • Pour mixture into a medium size skillet. Add the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red chili flakes. Tear apart the burrata cheese and add.
  • Turn the heat to medium and bring to a simmering boil stirring frequently (about 7-10 minutes) to melt all the cheese into the tomato mixture. About halfway through, reduce the heat to medium low. Cook about twenty-five to thirty minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Remove and the marinara sauce is ready to use!

Notes

If you want a less chunky sauce, pulse the tomatoes longer in the food processor.

If you want to remove any remnants of tomato skins, then sift the tomatoes after pulsing and discard the skin remnants.

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creamy vodka marinara sauce
creamy vodka marinara sauce

20 Comments

  1. I love your enthusiasm and creativity so much… And I love that you find a place for less-than-perfect but still perfectly good food in your life! I can’t bear to waste good food – especially when it can become something as delicious and versatile as this beautiful vodka sauce! Adding the burrata for creaminess is just brilliant. I can’t wait to make up a batch (or two) of this sauce!! xo

    • Michele! You have a gifted way w/words and for the person you send them to, like me here, you make me feel all warm and happy inside. Thank you! And, I am so delighted that you appreciate the truly real nature of these videos. While they don’t have the glitz and glamour of a professional film studio, I think the message is delivered and something can be learned (at least I hope!). Thanks for being such a dear friend and foodie luv!! xo ~ally

  2. Oh my word!! you knocked this one out of the park!! I want to reach in the screen and GRAB it!

  3. That cheese would never make it to the sauce! LOL I want those olives and shrimp!!! Lawd have mercy that egg! Love the no waste frame of mind! My Mama used to say about my budgeting and no waste skills, “She can pinch a nickel until the buffalo poops!” Hee Hee Hee! I think you are our kinda girl!

    • LMBO!!! Oh, LynnneeePooo! I wish I’d known your Mama!! God love her…like my Mom, they grew up in the Depression and post-Depression era, they learned thriftiness!! You bet I’m your kinda girl!! xo

  4. Miss Carrot! I have worked along side you in the kitchen and I know your motto on not wasting food, but honestly these dishes look so delicious that I will go out to buy the ingredients to make them, not wait for my tomatoes to look old and wrinkly! xo

    • Ha ha ha…oh, Miss Pea! Yes, go buy fresh ‘maters and do it!! Yes, you know me…Miss Thrifty! Always finding a new use for something that otherwise go to waste!! And, where are my green onions!!! xoxo

  5. Pure comfort food right here

  6. You are so creative, Ally, to end up your old cherry tomatoes with such an enticing flavorful dish – watching the video, my mouth watered! And adding burrata cheese to the marinara sauce is genius. Thank you for sharing! Xo xo

  7. Love the recipe, and love that you used vodka.

  8. your family is sooooo lucky to have such a fabulous talented cook of all trades really you can make anything! this is fantastic!

    • Oh, you sweet girl! That’s EXACTLY what I think about YOUR family!! I mean you probably hate to eat out b/c you’re such an amazing chef!! Thank you, luv! xo

  9. Ally, the fact that you paired this with shrimp and/or a fried egg (LOVELY pics!) made me wish I had some tomatoes languishing on my counter. I store them that way, too, and also believe in waste not/want not. My son just asked me how to make a “vodka cream tomato sauce” this week (my suggestion was to add heavy cream and vodka to jarred marinara, lol!) — hadn’t thought of adding burrata to the mix. I’m printing off your recipe to send to him, and I love that “some chunkiness might remain.” Texture + taste = good eats’! 🙂

    • Oh, Kim, I always LOVE your comments b/c they’re just so confidence building! Thank you! And, thanks for loving some chunkiness, too…I like that texture cuz it does add to flavor! Love you kiddo xox

  10. Both recipes look phenomenal. Will have to make the Vodka Sauce.
    BTW. Your skin looks FANTASTIC!

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