Vodka Pasta Sauce

So a good friend and I were discussing vodka pasta sauce the other day. We’re both fans. But couldn’t decide between using chopped, pureed, or various other forms of tomatoes. I was torn between cooking the version in How to Cook Everything because of loyalty to this blog, but I also deeply love the Pioneer Woman and her many delightful recipes (I pre-ordered my copy of her cookbook just yesterday!). A side by side comparison was in order.

Ingredients: On the left we have How to Cook Everything, except that it didn’t take garlic, please ignore it. Also ignore the labels on the cans, I should really start paying attention to what I put in the cart instead of what the shelf says. On the right we have Pioneer Woman’s ingredients.

First you start off with your oil and/or butter and onions. Both recipes called for a whole onion, since Bryan doesn’t like any bit of onion, I compromised and put half an onion in each. I’m nice like that.

Then things changed.


HTCE said to add the tomatoes. PW said to add the vodka. I should also mention that the proportions of vodka and cream were vastly different. A fourth of a cup to one full cup. I’d call that vast.

For HTCE I used diced tomatoes, PW calls for a puree. So the textures were different as well.

Another significant difference is that PW calls for a cup of cheese when you toss the sauce with the pasta. But I didn’t notice a big difference in taste.

Bryan and I each got a bowl of each. Fortunately for all of you, I documented Bryan tasting each one. (For the record, he’s not naked, he had just come back from a run and got out of the shower as dinner was ready.)

How to Cook Everything went first:


Happy Face, that’s a good sign.

Next came Pioneer Woman:

He decided after the initial tasting that Pioneer Woman won. But ultimately both were delicious and we couldn’t decide on a clear winner. It just depends on what kind of texture you are looking for.

As I am typing this I’m eating them both and they are even better the second day, like most pasta sauces. You cannot lose with a delicious, creamy vodka sauce.

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