Cavatappi with Vodka Sauce
This is one dish that Chelsea Handler would LOVE. I use a good vodka like Grey Goose or my favourite Canadian brand Nutrl because I subscribe to the saying "don't cook with it if you won't drink it." But let's face it, if you like Popov brand (god I hope you don't), then that works too.
That being said, bottom shelf vodka is a minefield. Because it can be produced more cheaply than any other spirit, there are more crappy vodka brands on the market than Taylor Swift songs about break-ups. But luckily for you, I've navigated this territory more often than I'd care for my family members to know about, and thus can guide you to safety.
8 ounces uncooked cavatappi pasta (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon butter
2/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk or almond milk
1/3 cup vodka
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cover and cook 3 minutes or until tender. Add tomato sauce; simmer, partially covered, 8 minutes or until thick.
Combine flour and water, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture to pan; cook 1 minute.
Add half-and-half, milk, vodka, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Stir in cheese.
Reduce heat to low; cook 3 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring frequently.
Add pasta; toss to coat. Sprinkle with basil.