Vodka sauce and I are pals. Compadres. I love making it and everyone loves it. If you know me well, then you know that I love nothing more than when someone loves the food that I've made for them.
The other day, my friend Mia stayed for dinner - she prefers meatless, nourishing meals, so I got to thinking what I could make and then....hey hey! I had just made penne a la vodka for Christmas Eve a few nights earlier and still had a lot of the fresh ingredients on hand, so I came up with the idea to make fresh vodka sauce with rice and beans instead. She loved it so much that she asked me for the recipe - so here you go! Delicious vodka sauce with all of the nourishing and filling warmth of rice and beans.
2 Tbsp butter (not an olive oil recipe, so don't even)
Half of a sliced red onion
2 cloves of minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup of fresh basil leave cut into a chiffonade
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup of vodka (a brand that you would drink - this isn't time for the cheap stuff)
1 cup of marinara sauce (I swear by Rao's brand - it's frickin' good)
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onion with a sprinkle of kosher salt and cook for a few minutes until they are starting to soften. Add garlic and cook for about a minute (goal to not have garlic turn brown). Then add the herbs and stir for another minute. Turn the heat off and add the vodka to the pan, stirring for about 2 minutes. Turn heat back on to medium and add marinara sauce to the pan. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes. If adding heavy cream, do it now and simmer for another minute. Add the beans and rice and stir together with salt and pepper. If mixture gets too thick, you can always add 1/4 cup of water at a time. Take off heat and add parmesan cheese and serve.
This recipe is so damn good. It's like a warm blanket on a cold day. It's even better as leftovers!
Have at it!