pasta alla vodka with turkey sausage

1 pound fettuccine or other favorite pasta

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

1 28 ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes, crushed with hands

½ cup good vodka

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 pound turkey sausage, casings removed

Salt to taste

Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add sausage. Rotate the sausage frequently to make sure all sides are brown. Cook for about 8 minutes total, or until sausage is brown on all sides. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Meanwhile, cook pasta according package directions {I used fresh pasta so the cooking time was only about 3-4 minutes}. Reserve about ½ cup pasta water in case you need to loosen the sauce at the end. Heat about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for about 2 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute. Remove skillet from heat and add crushed tomatoes, vodka and salt to taste. Stir to combine and place back on heat. Cook for about 8-9 minutes to allow the vodka to burn off. Add the heavy cream and stir to combine. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the sauce becomes thick. Add the sausage and stir in the pasta. If the sauce is too thick, you can add some of the reserve pasta water. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Happy Friday! Today I am sharing one of my favorite pasta sauces: vodka sauce. You can get some pretty good canned vodka sauces at the grocery store, but if you have the time {not much is needed!} it’s always good to make it from scratch. This is my go-to vodka sauce recipe and depending on the season and my mood, I like to incorporate other vegetables or meats for some variety. You may remember this sauce from a previous post when I added prosciutto and peas {click here}. This is such a great base sauce — I love the chunky tomatoes and the small amount of heat that comes from the red pepper flakes 🙂 

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!