**By Veronica Cannon **
You've decided you are ready to invite Mr. Right-for-Now over to your place for show off some of your**expert cooking skills**. Only problem is, you forgot that you don't have any of those. You've contemplated picking up take-out and tossing it into some cooking dishes, but worry you'll get caught being an impostor. So what's a girl to do?
Well, lucky for you I admit to having a slight Food Network addiction. It is here that my internal wannabe gourmet chef gets "fed" with a plethora of cooking tips and recipes from all my favorite famous chefs. Below is one of those recipes you will want to keep on hand for those impromptu dinner parties for the girls or for when you want to impress that hot guy from accounting. It's called "You Won't be Single for Long Vodka Cream Pasta" and it's brought to us from the bubbly Rachael Ray from the Food Network (love her!). Give it a try. Serve it with a glass of your favorite red, and see if the dish holds up to its name.
You Won't be Single for Long Vodka Cream Pasta
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 cup vodka
1 cup chicken stock
1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)
Coarse salt and pepper
16 ounces pasta, such as penne rigate
1/2 cup heavy cream
20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn
Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently saute shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan, 3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup. Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.
Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves. Pass pasta with crusty bread.
Delish and sure to impress!
Photo credit: Flickr - NathanaelIB