Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bloody Mary Sauce with Bucatini Pasta

To download a copy of the recipe for Bloody Mary Sauce with Pasta, click HERE.

A recent post that featured chicken sauce served with linguini  received a great response from readers. Today’s recipe is for another sauce that’s both delicious and just a bit unusual. It’s based on the unique flavors of a classic Bloody Mary, and is quite easy to make from scratch.

Some Cook’s Notes before we begin.

  • The base sauce used in this recipe is an easy tomato sauce we’ll make from scratch. If you prefer not to make your own tomato sauce and want to purchase a jar of sauce instead, that will work also. You’ll need about three cups of the base sauce.

  • Although the sauce can be used with any pasta you like (or anywhere else you might want to use a good tomato sauce), in this post I’ve selected bucatini. If you love pasta and have never had bucatini, you’re missing out on a real treat. It’s a long pasta, a good bit thicker than spaghetti, that has a small hollow through the middle. This makes the bucatini a thick-walled tube that has a wonderful mouth-feel and that holds sauce very well. (The photo at right shows what this looks like.)

  • As you might expect, one of the ingredients of Bloody Mary Sauce is vodka. If you prefer to make a Virgin Mary sauce, just replace the 1 cup of vodka with ½ cup of tomato juice, and skip the cooking-down-the-vodka step.

  • This recipe makes about three cups of sauce. That’s twice as much as you’ll need to sauce one pound of pasta. The recipe provides an overview of the canning process for saving the unused sauce (or for saving the entire batch for future use). Refer to other published sources for additional details.

This recipe makes about three cups of sauce.

We’ll start by making the base sauce:

Put the contents of a 28 ounce can of tomatoes, including the juice, into a non-metallic bowl. You can either use crushed tomatoes or, if using whole tomatoes, crush them with your hand.

Add 1 small grated carrot; 1 large rib of celery, chopped; 1 Tbsp chopped onion; 4 minced cloves of garlic; 9 ounces of tomato paste (that’s 1-1/2 six ounce cans); 1-1/2 tsp dried basil; 1 Tbsp sugar; and a pinch of chili powder to the bowl.

Put the mixture through a food mill. (If your food mill has more than choice of orifice plate, use the plate with the widest holes.) Scrape the underside of the orifice plate into the milled mixture. Discard the remaining solids in the bowl of the food mill.

Add 2 tsp of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste to the milled mixture and stir till combined. Set aside till needed.

Next, we’ll use the base sauce to make the Bloody Mary sauce.

Slice 2 ribs of celery very thin.

Warm 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a deep skillet. Add the celery and cook till tender but not mushy.

Add 1 cup of vodka. (Be careful: the mixture may flame up. If it does, just give it a moment and the flame will go out.) Put the skillet back on stove and reduce to about half volume.

Reduce heat to low. Add 1-1/2 cups of the base sauce; the juice of 1 large lemon; 1-1/2 tsp hot sauce; 3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce; 3/4 tsp celery salt; pinch paprika; 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper; 3/4 tsp prepared horseradish; and 1 tsp sugar.

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now you’ll either want to store half of the sauce for later use if you’re using it for the pasta right away, or to store all of the sauce for later use.

Transfer the sauce you’re saving to one or two 1-1/2 cup canning jars that have been sterilized, leaving ¼” head room (the air space at the top of the jar). On each jar, place a lid that has been processed in hot water as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply a ring seal to each jar.

Place the jars into a pot of hot water that completely covers the jars. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for about 40 minutes.

Remove the jars from the water. (Canning tongs are helpful for this.) Allow to cool. As the jars cool, you should hear the lids make a popping sound as they seal the jars, caused by the vacuum that forms in the head space above the sauce in the jar.

When you’re ready to cook the pasta:

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop 1 pound of bucatini into the water and let the water return to a boil. 

Cook the bucatini one minute less than recommended on the package.

While the pasta is cooking, begin heating 1-1/2 cups of the sauce in a skillet.

Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the starchy pasta water. Add the pasta to the sauce in the skillet and mix to combine.

Add some of the pasta water to the skillet, starting with ¼ cup and adding more only if needed for texture. Mix until everything is combined. Cook till the pasta is done.

Garnish with parsley to serve.

To download a copy of the recipe for Bloody Mary Sauce with Pasta, click HERE.

Serve this to the pasta-lovers you know, add a Caesar salad on the side for good measure, and you’ll keep all them very happy!

Visit again next week for another delicious recipe! Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)

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