Creamy Vodka Sauce…
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Bryan is an artist, father, husband, and son (not really in that order). He works for the Department of Vetern's Affairs and writes and administers The Fireside Post with his father, Ohg Rea Tone. His writings have not been published, though they have been printed a lot.

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Creamy Vodka Sauce…

On the subject of tortellinis, we would impart another recipe from our own Italian friends in Staten Island, NY. We would like to thank Eileen for this one, and we are forever grateful as it is a family favorite.

You will need:

one cup of ham – cubed

one cup of onion (yellow or white, I typically use white as it has a sweeter finish. 1 cup is about 1 medium sized onion)

one can of diced tomatoes (not drained)

8 oz. of heavy whipping cream

enough vodka (you will need one cup for the dish, but I like to have extra for that late afternoon cooking when the kids are sleeping and the music is on – its one of my favorite times of the day)

fresh mushrooms (optional)

tortellinis – cheese stuffed

You will need to puree the ham and onions together, and this is easiest in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, get one. You need it. Try the thrift stores, you can usually get one of those old, sturdy kind for a few dollars.

Put a liberal amount of olive oil (cover the bottom) in a deep frying pan and add the pureed ham and onions. Stir occasionally as they cook, and you will notice that the water from the ham and onions will start to work together to make the mixture a little saucy, almost pasty. This is when you add the can of tomatoes, juice and all, and let it simmer for about ten minutes. During this ten minutes is when I will prepare the tortellinis, as they don’t take very long and there isn’t anything else to do.

Add the vodka. The tomatoes need a chance to absorb the vodka, so let it cook for 6 – 8 minutes, then add the heavy cream. Stir this as it cooks for a few minutes and you will see it come together. The finished product will have some texture but will be smooth and creamy, and it will have a kind of pink color. Add the mushrooms last and let them get a little soft, then serve hot over the tortellinis.

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