Candlelight flickered on the rustic oak table. Outside, mossy trees gave way to frosted air. Seaside pathways sparkled under the moon’s ivory glow as I huddled inside near the warmth of the stove. Slowly, slowly stirring softly bubbling vodka-laced tomato and cream sauce. Eager to finish, I could almost taste the rich tomato sauce lavished over pasta.
Topped with toasted pine nuts, aromatic herbs and hempseed parmesan, this vegan pasta alla vodka is creamy, rich, satisfying and wonderfully plant-based. It’s just the thing for sharing with your beloved or saving all for yourself. After all, short days and long nights are all about decadent, warming comfort food that makes you feel cozy. And maybe even a bit romantic. (Valentine’s Day is around the corner after all.)
An Italian-American classic, vodka sauce is traditionally made with heavy cream, butter and of course — vodka! This version keeps things creamy and dreamy swapping heavy cream and butter for protein-rich chickpeas and coconut cream. Grainy vodka balances out the richness of the coconut cream and fruitiness of the tomatoes.
San Marzano tomatoes (sweet Italian plum tomatoes) tout low acidity which makes this vodka sauce sing! Championed for their balanced flavor, canned San Marzanos remind us that gentle sunshine, warm breezes and freshly picked tomatoes off the vine are only a few months away!
Straightforward and welcoming, this vegan pasta alla vodka blankets warmth and comfort and helps us connect with our own well being in just around 30 minutes. It’s just the dish for entertaining, movie marathoning or infusing a bit of hygge into your weeknight routine.
In today’s harried world, slowing down for a cozy meal is just the thing. This vegan pasta alla vodka is especially lovely served by candlelight with a glass of your favorite wine.
Looking for more cozy meals? Warm up with these homegrown favorites!
fresh herbs (I used a mixture of oregano, basil, and parsley)
toasted pine nuts
sliced cherry tomatoes
sprinkles of hemp hearts and nutritional yeast (can blend the two together for hempseed “parmesan”)
In a large saucepan (or dutch oven) heat the olive oil, onions, garlic, carrots, red pepper flakes, salt, and oregano over medium-low heat until the onions begin to caramelize.
Add the vodka and allow it to cook down for about 2-3 minutes.
Then add the tomatoes and chickpeas, and simmer the vodka sauce for 20 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Once cooked al dente, drain the pasta and set aside.
Returning to the vodka sauce, turn off the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the sauce until smooth. No immersion blender? No problem! Allow the sauce to cool a bit before transferring to a high-speed blender. Blend the sauce until smooth and transfer back to the saucepan. Once sauce is pureed, stir in the coconut cream. (If desired, gently warm the sauce back up a bit.)
Spoon the vodka sauce over plated pasta or gently fold the pasta and sauce together, then plate (depending on how saucy you like it!).
Top with fresh herbs, pine nuts, sliced tomatoes, hemp hearts and nutritional yeast as desired. Enjoy!