Sunday, January 07, 2007

New Year ... new blog.

Well, maybe not a new blog but at least a renewed attempt to get back into the blogging swing. I confess, my couple months off have been quite disastrous. I'm completely out of the habit of photographing food, and could have posted many a recipe had I only remembered to take a picture.

Oh well, here we go in 2007. Light and healthy (for the most part) and cooking up a storm. That's my new year's resolution, and I'm beginning with a delightful Cooking Light recipe for Cavatappi with Vodka Sauce. M and I both love a good vodka sauce. The creamy lusciouness of the sauce coating the nooks and crannies of pasta shapes - heaven on earth. However the cream and butter that makes a vodka sauce taste good isn't so great for one's overall health. Except perhaps on special and oh so indulgent occasions.

So, I wanted to try this Cooking Light version and see if it was up to snuff. Would it do for our vodka sauce cravings without doing in our waistlines? And the answer is yes. I made a couple mistakes when making the recipe, and it was still good enough to repeat and correct in the future. I didn't cook the sauce at a high enough heat to burn off all the vodka, and I didn't have enough of one kind of pasta to make the recipe. I'm notorious for always buying pasta, and having our pantry swim in about ten boxes of different kinds of pasta. So this time I figured I must have the right amount of pasta at home, and I didn't. So we had it with a mix of farfalle, and whole wheat fusilli. And the recipe was still a keeper!

Cavatappi with Vodka Sauce
From Cooking Light
Luscious, creamy vodka sauce gets into every nook and cranny of the spiral-shaped cavatappi. You can also use fusilli or penne.

My notes - I added peas because M. is a big fan of peas with his vodka sauce. And I never turn down an extra veggie!

8 ounces uncooked cavatappi pasta (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon butter
2/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1/3 cup vodka
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cover and cook 3 minutes or until tender. Add tomato sauce; simmer, partially covered, 8 minutes or until thick. Combine flour and water, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture to pan; cook 1 minute. Add half-and-half, milk, vodka, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Stir in cheese. Reduce heat to low; cook 3 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring frequently. Add pasta; toss to coat. Sprinkle with basil.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)

CALORIES 449 (27% from fat); FAT 13.3g (sat 8g,mono 3.4g,poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 16.6g; CHOLESTEROL 36mg; CALCIUM 275mg; SODIUM 784mg; FIBER 3.2g; IRON 2.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 55g

Cooking Light, MAY 2003


kickpleat said...

welcome back to blogging! that recipe looks amazing...i too love a good vodka sauce and i'm glad to know there's one out there without all that bad stuff.

helios said...

Thanks kickpleat!

Glad you're still reading, and that you're a vodka sauce fan. Definitely a recipe worth tinkering with - I'll be watching to see if you try it soon.