Main Dish – Vodka Pasta Sauce + “Pasta”

Portals of Prayer

In my Lutheran church body, we have a publisher which produces all sorts of resources for individuals, churches, and schools. One of their highest circulating items is a small devotional magazine called “Portals of Prayer.” It’s a great little resource, and I’ve been tickled to be able to write a month’s worth of reflections for this magazine more than once.

As a matter of fact, right now I’m working on a new set of devotions, which are due at the end of 2014. The outline for the 31 devotions, however, is due in about 3 weeks, so I’m chipping away at it so I can send it off before vacation.

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It always shocks me (although I suppose it shouldn’t) when people actually read, think about, and then give me feedback about what I’ve written. Writers so often work “in the ether”–we create our documents on our laptops or devices, and then send them via email to our editors. It seems so ethereal that once I get the final copy in the mail amid no fanfare whatsoever, it’s always kind of a surprise. I mean, I remember everything that I wrote, but if you were to ask me what I put in the July 17 entry for the 2014 Portals of Prayer, I would have no clue.

I like to think this is healthy. I am always moving on to the next project, the next challenge, the next paragraph, the next outline. So it’s always wonderful to have connections to actual readers–people I have never met.

On the flip side, I know many writers who become so obsessed with their work, awaiting responses from editors that they’re stuck and can’t write anything new. So I like to think that my “out of sight, out of mind” mentality is actually a good thing. Who knows for sure.

And the truth is that a LOT of time has passed since I wrote these little reflections for Portals of Prayer. I don’t exactly remember when I finished them, but my guess is that it was at least 18 months ago. Anyhow, if you’ve never checked out Portals, I recommend it!

Vodka Pasta Sauce

It’s not very often that I make my own pasta sauce. I mean, for me, it’s kind of like dicing and canning my own tomatoes. I could go through all that hassle, but in the end, it’s cheaper and a LOT easier to just buy the can for $.89! One reason I might consider making my own sauce, however, would be to control the flavor and the additives. And anyway, this sauce (p. 62) is so simple; it was a snap to make.

Start with minced garlic and green onions in a medium-hot pan with olive oil. And don’t make the mistake of heating the pan so hot that it burns your garlic and ruins the onions and causes the smoke alarm to go off. Just saying.

So then you add the vodka and let it simmer until it reduces by about half. Then add chicken stock and crushed tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Pretty easy!

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On Sunday I had cooked a spaghetti squash, so that was the base, although of course regular pasta could be used. It was delicious!

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