Frugal Foodie Mama: Slow Cooker Vodka Pasta Sauce

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Slow Cooker Vodka Pasta Sauce

Slow Cooker Vodka Sauce via #slowcookingsummer #crockpot
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I am kicking off Slow Cooking Through Summer Week by sharing this super simple & delicious Slow Cooker Vodka Pasta Sauce recipe with you all.
If you are a fan of the jarred vodka pasta sauce, then this homemade, slow cooked version is going to knock your socks off! 

And you really cannot get much easier than this for a weeknight meal- the sauce is pretty much ready when you walk in the door. Just boil your favorite pasta and add a fresh salad to make the meal complete.  Easy, peasy! :)

I left the sauce chunky because I love the bits of tomatoes in this, but if you prefer a smoother sauce you can hit the sauce with your immersion blender while it is still in the slow cooker crock...

Slow Cooker Vodka Sauce via #slowcookingsummer #crockpot

Slow Cooker Vodka Pasta Sauce

by Frugal Foodie Mama
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4-6 hours
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of crushed red pepper (to your heat preference)
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce (or one 15 oz can)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup beef broth (can substitute vegetable broth to make this sauce vegetarian)
  • One 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped (plus more for garnishing, if desired)
  • 1 cup of your favorite plain vodka
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all the ingredients except for the half & half and salt & pepper to your slow cooker. Stir well.
Cover and cook on High for 4 hours or on Low for 6 hours.

During the last 15 minutes of slow cooking, whisk in the half & half.
Taste and then season with salt and pepper to your preference.

Serve the vodka sauce over your favorite cooked pasta. Top with shredded Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, if desired.
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Slow Cooker Vodka Sauce via #slowcookingsummer #crockpot
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If your prefer your pasta sauce sans the alcohol, you can leave out the vodka and add in a little more beef broth instead. However, your sauce will not have the same depth of flavor that most vodka sauces boast.  After slow cooking for 4-6 hours, pretty much all of the alcohol has cooked out so this is perfectly safe to serve to the kiddos. ;)
If you have garden fresh tomatoes ('tis that time of the year!), feel free to sub those for the canned diced tomatoes.

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Be sure to stop on by the other food bloggers' blogs hosting  Slow Cooking Through Summer Week and check out the delicious slow cooker recipes they are sharing today... 
Julie from This Gal Cooks
Melanie from Melanie Makes
Jaime from Mom's Test Kitchen
Heather from Sugar Dish Me
Paula from Call Me PMc