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  • Writer's pictureTerri Windover

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. 

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