Creamy Dreamy Shrimp & Vodka Sauce Pasta (With Fresh Tomatoes!)

This Creamy Dreamy Shrimp & Vodka Sauce Pasta has a secret ingredient.  Do you want to know what it is?  The secret ingredient makes the vodka sauce extra creamy and thick, provides some tang, and is downright delicious.  Ready?  It’s goat cheese.  Goat cheese is melted straight into the vodka sauce and trust me, it’s the way to go.  I also added goat cheese as a garnish, but it’s the goat cheese that’s IN the vodka sauce that is the hidden gem.  The flavor of the goat cheese is not prominent in the sauce, in fact, I don’t think you could detect it if you didn’t already know it was there, it blends beautifully with the flavor of the vodka sauce.  We have even gotten to the fresh tomato flavor yet.  Are you ready to get cooking?  This dish comes together quickly and has outside dinner party written alllllll over it. 

I highly recommend you serve shrimp with this dish.  Not only do they look ever so elegant served atop a heaping mount of pasta, but they are SO quick to cook.  The beauty of this dish is that it requires very little active cooking time.  The sauce, pasta and shrimp are easy to prepare and when you’re finished, the presentation is gorgeous.  Serve it up family style with a salad and a loaf of bread and you’re good to go.  However, if shrimp aren’t your thing, I think it would equally delicious with sliced mushrooms, scallops, or even steak.

Now, on to the tomatoes.  Tomato season is almost upon us.  And let’s face it, fresh in season tomatoes are head and shoulders tastier that their mushy, tasteless counterparts.  I used a variety of grape tomatoes that were on hand at the grocery store, but I think cherry tomatoes would be amazing too.  To make things even simpler, after the tomatoes soften, I used a potato masher to press them down and release their juices, then when the sauce was finished cooking, I used an immersion blender to blend up the skins.  It worked like a charm, no straining required.  Score!

This is a dish we plan to serve up all summer long.  It’s fresh, light and comforting at the same time, and is stress free to prepare.  Go on, text a friend and invite them over to join you.  you’ve got this.

 

Ingredients:

1/2 of a small onion or 1/4 of a large onion

1.5 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup of vodka

1/4 cup tomato sauce

2 pints of grape or cherry tomatoes

one small handful of basil leaves (about 5 leaves)

1/2 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

1.5 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

1/8 cup goat cheese, plus more for topping

1 pound shrimp cleaned and coated in whatever spices you like – I used a few shakes of ground mustard, cayenne powder, salt & pepper, a minced clove of garlic and a drizzle of olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Add olive oil to the bottom of a thick saute pan and add diced onions.  Cook a few minutes until translucent.  Add vodka sauce, tomatoes, basil and tomato sauce and cover pan with a lid.  Simmer for 10 minutes, than using the back of a large fork or a potato mashed, mash the tomatoes to release their juice.  Simmer another 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the lid and scoop out the basil.  Next, use an immersion blender to make a smooth sauce.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, you could carefully transfer the sauce to a blender and puree that way.  Once blended, if you prefer to ensure there are no tomato skins in your sauce, you can pour through a strainer, however I like mine with a few skins and thus skip this step.
  3. Add butter, heavy cream, salt and pepper, goat cheese and Parmesan cheese.  Stir to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings to taste.
  4. I usually leave my sauce on low, and next prepare my pasta and shrimp. While waiting for the pasta water to boil I will clean the shrimp. While the pasta is cooking, I will saute the shrimp.  For the shrimp, I combine the spices in a small bowl, coat the shrimp with olive oil, toss the shrimp with the spices and then saute in a hot pan a few minutes on each side.  Lastly, top the pasta with sauce, shrimp and more cheese!

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