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Giada De Laurentiis Just Shared Her Recipe For Pasta Alla Vodka & It Uses A Store Bought Shortcut

When we go out for a fancy meal, there’s nothing more romantic or indulgent than going out for Italian food. And while we love more elaborate dishes, for our pasta course we often get something simple, like pasta carbonara or pasta alla vodka. Pasta alla vodka is pasta paired with a creamy, cheesy tomato sauce that’s spiked with vodka, and it has a luscious texture and deep flavor that makes us want to lick our bowls, even in the middle of a restaurant. Well, thanks to Italian-American chef and cookbook author Giada De Laurentiispasta alla vodka recipe, we can now make this restaurant fave at home, and even better? She says it’s okay to use store bought tomato sauce as the base, making it totally weeknight-friendly.

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Now, if you want to be fancy and have the extra time, you can whip up a batch of De Laurentiis’ simple tomato sauce to use as your base, which is a combination of tomato, onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and basil. But you can also just buy a jar of sauce from the store (we like Rao’s). Look for a sauce that also has carrot and celery in it, then blend it in your blender or with an immersion blender to give it a super-smooth, silky texture. That’s one of the things that makes pasta alla vodka seem so elegant.

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De Laurentiis uses paccheri pasta, a type of short tube pasta that soaks up tons of sauce, perfect when the sauce is the star of a dish. You can also use penne or rigatoni if they’re easier to find, and we also love this sauce on ravioli or tortellini.

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To make the sauce, add your blended store bought marinara and a cup of vodka to a saucepan, simmering until reduced. To finish, you add cream and Parmesan cheese, which gives the sauce it’s orangey-red glow.

Thanks to the use of store bought marinara, this recipe can be made in less than a half hour, which means your favorite date night meal is now an option on weeknights, too. Now that’s la dolce vita.

Before you go, check out our gallery below:

Watch: How to Make Giada De Laurentiis’ Stuffed Lasagna Rolls

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