ode to pgh & mint juleps

Do you ever crave a particular dish from your favorite restaurant? For me, there are definitely certain meals that I love so much, I try to recreate them in my own kitchen. This is the case for my favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh, Lidia’s. Living in the Steel City for four years while in college allowed me to enjoy some amazing food, most of which came from this Italian restaurant in the city’s Strip District. {To see my entire post about Pittsburgh and Lidia’s, click here}

Whenever we travel back to Pittsburgh, Lidia’s is always a must. Our favorite menu item is the “Pasta Trio” where you are able to sample the day’s three special pastas. Typically, our favorite pasta is of the vodka sauce variety {how can you not love that pink, creamy sauce?!} I’ve made vodka sauce before and shared it here on A Blonde’s Moment, but today’s version has a few special ingredients. A few months ago, my husband discovered Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka, which is made right in Pittsburgh. We thought using a Pittsburgh vodka to make our favorite Pittsburgh dish was perfect way to recreate our favorite pasta. 

I made this for dinner on Saturday and after a long day of yard work, it definitely hit the spot! Although the recommended cocktail for this dish probably isn’t a Mint Julep, in honor of the Kentucky Derby, my husband made up one of his favorite drinks. He is sharing his Mint Julep recipe below, so be sure to check it out! The Kentucky Derby might be over, but there are still horse races to enjoy and Mint Juleps to be had! 

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great Tuesday!

Pittsburgh-made Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka

Fettuccine with Mushrooms, Pea, Prosciutto & Vodka Sauce

1 pound pasta {I used fresh fettuccine}
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
16 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
3 ounces prosciutto, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3/4 bag frozen peas, room temperature
1 28 ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes, crushed with hands
½ cup good vodka {I used Pittsburgh’s own Boyd & Blair}
2/3 cup heavy cream
Grated Parmesan cheese and/or basil to garnish
Salt to taste

Start by cooking the pasta according to package directions. {I used fresh pasta so it only took about 3 minutes to cook.} Reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water. Heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.  Add the chopped prosciutto. Cook until crispy, about 3 minutes. Remove prosciutto from skillet and place on paper towel to drain. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the same skillet and saute the mushrooms until the mushrooms begin to brown and all the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a clean plate and add another tablespoon of olive oil to the same skillet. Add the shallot and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the crushed tomatoes, vodka and salt, to taste. Stir to combine and place back on the heat. Cook for about 8-9 minutes to allow the vodka to burn off. Add the heavy cream and stir to fully combine. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the sauce becomes thick. Turn the heat down to low and add the peas. Cook for about 2 minutes and turn off the heat. Add the crispy prosciutto and mushrooms and stir in pasta. If the sauce is too thick, you can add some of the reserve pasta water to thin it out. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and basil, if desired. 



Mint Juleps

10 mint leaves
1 ounce simple syrup 
2 ounces bourbon {we used Basil Hayden’s}
1 sugar swizzle stick
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Muddle leaves with simple syrup in cocktail glass {use a mint julep silver glass if you have one!} to release the oils in the mint; be sure to not bruise. Add enough ice to fill the glass. Add bourbon. Add bitters. Swirl bitters with sugar stick. Makes one drink. 

8 thoughts on “ode to pgh & mint juleps

  1. Yum!! That pasta looks amazing! I had my first mint julep last year during the Kentucky Derby and I have to say I wasn't a fan haha! Way too sweet for me but I'm sure if I made it myself I could control the sweetness better!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

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