Vodka Sauce

by Brian Patton

Makes 4 cups

2 tablespoons vegan butter
½ large onion, chopped
½ teaspoon chili flakes
4 cloves garlic, sliced
170g (6oz) tomato paste
½ cup vodka
794g (28oz can) peeled canned tomatoes
75g cashews
100ml water (approx. ½ cup)
6 medium basil leaves, plus more for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium pot, add butter and heat to medium. Once butter is melted, add onions, chili flakes, and a pinch of salt. Cook 6 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and translucent.

Add garlic and cook 3 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste, and cook, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes until tomato paste darkens slightly and is fragrant. Add a tablespoon of water as needed to deglaze bottom of pot.

Stir in vodka and cook 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes, and a pinch of salt. Break tomatoes up with a spoon and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, to a high speed blender, add cashews and water. Blend until very smooth, and add to pot. 

Add basil. Blend with hand blender until smooth, adding water if needed for consistency.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Done.