September 5, 2013 - 3 minutes read

Vodka Cream Tomato Sauce

Heirloom vegetable season is upon us! The mightiest of harvest season’s heirloom vegetables is the tomato. Scores of heirloom tomato varieties can be found at farmers markets, farm stands and local grocery markets for a limited time only.

Not to miss this once-a-year opportunity to capture some of the best flavors the summer harvest has to offer, I went on an heirloom vegetable binge this last weekend. One of my biggest missions: making enough vodka cream tomato sauce to last throughout the winter.

Perfect for pasta, this sauce is also a delicious addition to meat and veggies slow-cooked on the smart shelf. Bursting with flavor, this sauce is a foolproof way to create a complete meal with simple ingredients and minimal meal prep.

For this recipe, I selected 6 large heirloom tomatoes (red and yellow brandywine were my choice because of their sweet, low-acid, rich flavor).

First, blanche the tomatoes – whole and cored with an “x” marked on the back – for 60 seconds in boiling water. Don’t let the tomatoes sit in the boiling water any longer, or you will cook them. You only want to blanche them enough to make it easy to remove the skins. 

Take off the skins, quarter or eighth the tomatoes, then set them in a colander over a bowl for an hour to let the extra juice drain. This will make your sauce thicker and reduce your cook time.

Once your tomatoes are drained, toss them in a large pot, along with any other vegetables you want to include. I added a few each of my favorite heirloom peppers, some mild and some with a little kick to give it a more complex flavor: hungarian, sweet italian/sweet chilis and poblano. Add these, coarsely chopped, to the tomatoes. Set the pot on medium high and slowly bring to a low boil/simmer.

As it comes to simmer, add 2 tablespoons kosher salt (or to taste), along with 1 cup of vodka. Let all this simmer on medium for about 20 minutes before slowly stirring in 1 cup of cream. Simmer for another 10 minutes, then serve or preserve. A simple way to preserve is to pour into ziplock freezer baggies or jars for the freezer. If you’re storing them in glass, make sure you leave lots of room at the top of the jar for the contents to expand.

Before I could even get the sauce in the freezer, my husband snagged it to top the buttered chicken and veggies he was preparing for the month ahead. 

In Hot Logic-friendly containers, of course.

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