I only added a touch of vodka to my sauce because I was a bit nervous and cautious. If I make this again, I might add a bit more. Please feel free to add as much as you think you would like. I added 1/4 cup and this makes A LOT of sauce, so the vodka flavor was extremely faint. I would probably add 1/2 cup next time for this amount of sauce. That being said, I loved the sauce the way it was because it was simply, delicious! Also, my kids were eating this with us, and I didn't want to serve them something with a foreign taste (if you know what I mean) But, by all means, "beef up the vodka" if you really want that flavor to come through.
Not only did I use this sauce to serve over pasta as you see below, but a couple days later, I added 1 lb. of browned ground beef to about 4 cups of this sauce, and mixed it with 1 lb. of gluten-free pasta. I added a couple cups of Parmesan and Italian Blended shredded cheese on top, baked it in a casserole dish for about 20 minutes on 375 and had a delicious baked spaghetti the whole family LOVED!
So, we had this for dinner 2 nights, baked spaghetti for 2 nights and enough sauce left over to put in the freezer for another meal later! Pretty good, huh?!
P.S. I used skim milk (because that's all I had in my house and it turned out well. It was obviously not as rich, but it was still very good.
This is a gluten-free recipe!
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes with basil (regular crushed tomatoes will work as well)
14.5 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes (regular diced tomatoes will work as well)
12 oz. tomato paste
1/4 cup vodka (use up to 1/2 or 2/3 cup if you want more vodka flavor)
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 Tbsp. butter
3 cups heavy cream
Directions: (Use a 3-5 Quart Slow Cooker)
In your crock, dump the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and vodka.
Add the garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Give it a stir and cook on LOW for 5-8 hours, or on HIGH for 2.5-4 hours.
About the last 45 mins-1 hour, add the 4 Tbsp. of butter and recover.
When you're ready to serve, blend the sauce with an immersion blender until it is smooth.
(If you don't have an immersion blender, CAREFULLY blend your sauce in a food processor or blender. Make sure to cover the lid with a towel in case there is splash. You don't want to burn yourself!)
Remove 2 cups of your sauce into a bowl and SLOWLY (and I mean slowly) add the heavy cream to your sauce by whisking CONSTANTLY! This will keep your milk from curdling. It still might not blend completely smoothly (mine didn't) but it's no big deal.
Now, you're going to SLOWLY pour this back into the remainder of your pasta sauce while again, whisking CONSTANTLY!
And you are done! A little bit of work, but nothing too hard. :)
Serve over your favorite pasta and ENJOY!