Shells and Shrimp in a Creamy Tomato Vodka Sauce

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When was the last time you made a creamy tomato-y vodka-y pasta sauce? If it’s been longer than 3 1/2 hours, it’s been far too long.

To be honest, I think the last time I made it was 7 years ago when we were living in a warehouse loft downtown and I was really into wearing 4-inch wedges day and night and practicing my human pretzel skills in front of an audience.

I’d like to formally apologize to said audience.

Creamy, tomato-y, vodka-y pasta sauces are fully allowed to govern my life once again. After one single taste during the simmering process, I remembered it all.

I remembered the feeling of knees buckling. I remembered the sensation of the flavors mingling and making their way down my esophagus like a glittery love parade. I remember my eyes rolling to the back of my head and getting stuck and me panicking thinking I’d never see again.

What a beautiful memory.

And it all came back to life in the present day which was yesterday when I practically stuck my whole head into the simmering sauce because one single taste is a HILARIOUS JOKE.

If a trough of this doesn’t appear in front of your mouth within the next 7 hours, just go ahead and admit yourself.

Now, I think I’ll go find my wedges and work on those human pretzel skills again. AND NO, it’s not going to end up on YOUTUBE.

Shells and Shrimp in a Creamy Tomato Vodka Sauce:

(recipe inspired by this lovely woman.)

Would anyone else like to join me in a snuggle fest with these creamy shells? I mean seriously.

What it took for 4:

* 1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
* 2 Tbs butter
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* pinch of crushed red pepper
* 1/3 cup vodka
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
* 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1 pound pasta shells

In a food processor, blitz up the tomatoes until saucy.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high. Add the garlic and the crushed red pepper; bloom 30 seconds.

Add the tomato sauce and bring to a light simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Add the vodka and cream and continue to simmer lightly for 25 minutes.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and sear on one side for 2 minutes; flip and sear 30 more seconds. Remove from heat.

Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and pour into the tomato cream sauce. Toss to combine.

Fold shrimp into the pasta and serve with fresh basil leaves. OMG.

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19 Responses to Shells and Shrimp in a Creamy Tomato Vodka Sauce

  1. Jenny Flake December 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    For one, this dinner looks perfect and for two, cracking up at that photo of you!! I think I had those same wedges. I lived in shoes like that too :) xoxo

  2. Julie @ Table for Two December 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    hahaha you crack me up — love this..vodka sauce..mmmm..vodka…ahem i mean, it’s great with pasta!

  3. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    I have pictures like that somewhere…I’m pretty positive. They usually happened in the wee hours after drinking lots of…vodka :)

    Where were you about 5-10 yrs ago in my life…I think we would have been best-est friends :)

  4. Erin December 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    I looove vodka sauce! I don’t think I’ve had it in ages though. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Maria December 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    I just love you AND this pasta dish! Mmm!

  6. Melissa // thefauxmartha December 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    I’ve been craving a good pasta sauce. Thank you for reading my mind! This look D-vine!

  7. Cassie December 9, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    You don’t have to convince me to eat this whole pan of sauce. Vodka? Yes, please, my friend!

  8. Cookie and Kate December 9, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    My stomach growled when I read creamy tomato vodka sauce. Stomach wants!

  9. Katie December 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    Girl, you don’t need to apologize for moves like that. I wish I would have been there to see that action. I also wish I was in your kitchen eating this right now.

  10. nicole {sweet peony} December 9, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    that picture- YESSSS! you are hilarious!

    i haven’t made vodka sauce since the time i made it and it got me drunk. no joke. the recipe said to simmer COVERED, meaning the alcohol didn’t evaporate but kind of made it more saturated. best dinner party everrr. except when my guests couldn’t leave cuz they were, ya know, wasted.

  11. Anna December 9, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    Hahaha, I hope you can still do that when you’re 80. Make vodka sauce, I mean. Looks delicious! (yes, still talking about the vodka sauce! But ok, you too!)

  12. Laurie {Simply Scratch} December 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Oh my gosh Bev… you are too funny! This pasta looks fantabulous!

  13. DessertForTwo December 11, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    I’ve been wanting to make a vodka creamy sauce. I think the time has come! :)

    Your photo cracked me up!

  14. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen December 11, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    I’m not proud to admit that there is a similar photo of me floating around somewhere…what is it about extreme flexibility that compels us to demonstrate??!

    This looks delicious. I made penne vodka a couple weeks ago, and now you have me craving it again!

  15. Kelly Senyei December 12, 2011 at 4:36 am #

    So glad you enjoyed this recipe, and I love the addition of the shrimp! You always put a smile on my face :)

  16. Jaisa @ hardly housewives December 12, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    mmmm drool. how did you know i was craving shrimp?

  17. Koko @ Koko Likes December 12, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    WOW this looks incredible and so easy!

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  1. Pomegranate Love | That Deep Breath - December 19, 2011

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  2. What I Ate Wednesday #23 | That Deep Breath - December 21, 2011

    [...] me introduce you to the easiest pasta in the world to make, and the absolute most delicious. Shells and Shrimp in a Creamy  Tomato Vodka Sauce. I’m not joking, put down your computer and make this now. It’s just a little spicy and [...]

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