Vodka Pasta and Pals
Kept the catering really simply this weekend for three reasons – although I still had a houseful for dinner and we all had a splendid time. So what were the reasons for the simplicity?
Firstly, am running a half marathon next weekend and so... not that the bastard long training runs are done and dusted, it's all about the carb loading and tapering (aka stuffing face with pasta and not running an awful lot).
Second reason – the ladies were actually nipping off after dinner to a party at Leon , so didn't want to do too many courses of anything fancy shcmancy, or make it a long and drawn out dinner type thing.
And thirdly, these are my lovely, known 'em since I was 10, school friends and we very rarely get together. I wanted something simple but cooked with love, so that the focus was on spending time together, not timing my complex dinner party food. As you'll see from this pic, it was all about fresh, simple flavours with a bit of a twist. The twist, in this case, being vodka, which adds brilliant depth to a basic pasta sauce.
Here's how I make one of my old favourites – vodka penne. It always goes down a treat and is really easy to throw together.
Basically, you just make your favourite version of a tomato pasta sauce (you can follow our one in the recipes section) and add a really good slug of vodka to taste. You can make this up to a day in advance. Then, when cooking dinner, simply heat gently, stir in single cream and chopped flat leaf parsley. Penne works best for this type of sauce.
As not all of my guests like chilli, I served this on the side. But normally, I would add a liberal tsp of dried chilli flakes when cooking to give this a real kick.
The non marathon training ones among us drank champagne and sloe gin with dinner. It looked potent – and I looked on longingly.
Posted by Kath