Eric and I love pasta so much that we usually have it once a week. Out of all the recipes I have saved (which is a ridiculously high amount, by the way), pasta recipes appear the most. You’d think, with all those saved recipes, that I would be trying a new pasta dish each week. Sometimes that’s true, but lately I can only think about this pasta. It’s easily become my favorite, and I’m tempted to put it on the menu week after week.
It’s kind of funny how this recipe evolved. The changes started out pretty innocently and ended up turning this recipe into something different, and I think better, than the original. The addition of just a few ingredients really transformed this recipe. It started with me adding garlic. If something can be made with garlic, you can bet that I’ll put garlic in it. Eric and I love garlic so much that we use the full amount called for even when we halve recipes. The next time we made this, we had a can of crushed tomatoes that I thought would be really good in the sauce. I loved the addition of the tomatoes and continued using them. Then another time we had half of a yellow onion, and I couldn’t resist adding it. I love the smell of garlic and onion cooking in melted butter, and I’m not sure why I didn’t think to add the onion sooner.
This sauce is rich, creamy and full of tomato flavor. I like the added texture provided by the onion and tomatoes and actually think the sauce was a little boring without them. The basil provides a nice boost of freshness, which is nice with heavier sauces. While you can’t taste the vodka, I’ve read that vodka enhances the flavor of the tomatoes, making the flavor more intense than it would be without the alcohol. My favorite way to serve this is with crusty garlic bread, which happens to be the perfect vessel for eating leftover sauce.