Paleo Vodka Sauce with Italian Sausage
But my favorite Italian dish is spaghetti with vodka sauce. I love the combination of tomato and cream. It’s like I get to eat Marinara and Alfredo in one! Vodka sauce is so easy to make too. Takes awhile for the tomato sauce to simmer but it’s oh so worth it. And you control what goes in your sauce. So no need to worry about finding that ONE sauce that doesn’t have any added sugar or starch in it. Or spending $12 on a single jar. Crazy the prices sometimes for Paleo/Whole30 products.
Not all vodkas are gluten free, just so you know. Vodka was and is traditionally made from grains like wheat or oat. There’s lots of companies out there though that make vodka from Paleo friendly ingredients such as grapes, potatoes, coconut, and honey. Here’s a great list from the Paleo Network of vodkas that are Paleo friendly: Paleo Friendly Vodkas. For this dish, I used Circo’s vodka. I also used coconut milk instead of cream but feel free to add regular cream or almond creamer if you’d prefer.
Throw in whatever extra vegetables you’ve got!
I had a ton of extra veggies from the farmers’ market that needed to be eaten fairly quickly. That’s another great thing about making your own sauce, you can throw whatever you want into it! So, I added bell peppers, onions, and carrots that needed to be used up into my sauce. Carrots are a great way to add some sweetness to your sauce without adding any refined sugar. It helps cut the acidity that tomato sauce tends to be high in.
I also used an entire 2 lbs of baby tomatoes that I got at Costco in addition to two cans of San Marzano tomatoes. If you don’t have any fresh tomatoes or don’t want to extra step of boiling and peeling a bunch of tomatoes, use all canned. That’s perfectly fine and what I tend to do 90% of the time. I just happened to have a bunch of fresh tomatoes that needed to be eaten or cooked.
This recipe makes a lot of sauce. It made about 3 quarts of sauce for me. You could cut the recipe in half or freeze it in quart containers like I did. It lasts forever in the freezer. If you are going to freeze it, just don’t add the cream until you get ready to use it. But if you’re a true Italian aficionado like myself, it won’t last long in your house anyway! I added Polidori spicy sausage links to this for a boost in protein and my family had it on top of Living Now’s quinoa pasta. I just happened to have Cappello’s fettuccine in the freezer for me but my family doesn’t like it. They’re crazy 😉
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2-28 oz cans diced tomatoes
- 2 lbs cherry tomatoes
- 2 C water
- 3 T tomato paste
- 1 T dried oregano
- 2 T minced garlic
- 1 T dried basil
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 T Italian seasoning
- 1 T salt
- 1/4 C coconut cream
- 1/2 C vodka
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage
- Over medium-high heat, bring a couple of cups of water to a rolling boil.
- Working in batches, blanch tomatoes in boiling water, a handful at a time. Cook them until you see the skin start to split. Scoop them out of the water and place them on ice water. Peel skins from tomatoes and set aside (you can use whole big tomatoes too! It’s way easier. I just had a bunch of cherry tomatoes leftover!)
- After blanching and peeling tomatoes, roughly chop tomatoes and place make in stockpot.
- Add canned tomatoes, water, tomato paste, the rest of the veggies, and spices to pot. Simmer on low for 2-3 hours or until reduced and sauce has deepened in color.
- In a separate frying pan, cook Italian sausage until no longer pink. Add vodka to sausage and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add to sauce and continue simmering an additional 30 minutes.
- At the last minute, add coconut cream or desired cream of choice to sauce. Serve over pasta.