Vodka Pasta Sauce over Spaghetti Squash

Vodka Pasta Sauce over Spaghetti Squash
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Vodka pasta sauce takes a little bit of time to prepare but is so worth it and incredibly delicious served over spaghetti squash. This low carb meal idea is sure to please everyone at your table. Around 7g net carbs per serving of sauce.

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If I’m going to go to the effort to make a pasta sauce from scratch instead of just getting the fancy jar off the grocery shelf, you bet I’m gonna make a recipe that is uhhmaaaazing.

And so, I  set out to glance at a few recipes to see if the term “vodka sauce” really involved vodka or if it was just a name. Sure enough, it is not just a name. Vodka pasta sauce does indeed involve vodka. Then, I had to check to see if we even had any on hand. I’m not into the heavy booze so I don’t keep an eye on what our cupboard does or doesn’t have. But alas, we had the vodka for vodka sauce.

Vodka sauce only 7g net carbs per serving - Wonderful served over a low carb alternative like spaghetti squash #lowcarb #vodkasauce #THMS

In my Instant Pot, I steamed a spaghetti squash but honestly, this recipe makes way more sauce– you might want to meal prep two spaghetti squashes or plan to freeze some sauce unless you’ve got a big family or friends coming that aren’t into this low carb lifestyle to partake of this party sauce.

If you want a quick word on steaming the spaghetti squash, here you go. Keep the spaghetti squash whole. Use a steamer basket or metal rack. Add one cup of cold water to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Use a fork to prick the spaghetti squash around 10-15 times. The pricks are to allow steam to escape. But the reason I don’t cut it is because I don’t want it to be soggy and overly steamed.

Steam on high for 13 minutes for a small, adjust to 15 for a medium and probably lets say 17 for a large one. Let the steam release and pop the lid off so that it can start to cool a bit before you cut into it. I did this before I made the sauce, but you can totally let it steam while you make the sauce. Your choice.

As I mentioned above, meal prep. This is an excellent recipe for meal prep and if you want to make spaghetti squash ahead of time, you won’t be sorry to get to eat this for several meals.

For the sauce

I first took a pound of sausage (I used chicken Italian sausage from Trader Joe’s, it was a good life choice) and cooked it in my cast iron skillet. Some prefer to not cook tomato products in cast iron– to each their own. After cooking it, set it aside in a bowl and wipe the pan out so that the next items don’t stick to whatever sausage remnants might be there.

Mixing avocado oil and butter helps to prevent the butter from burning. I prefer to cook with avocado oil because it can take high heat and more often than not, I turn the heat up.

Cook the shallots and garlic on medium-low so that both become fragrant. Add the vodka in a slow stream, allow it to reduce by half which will take 3-4 minutes.

Add the chicken bone broth, fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, and sundried tomatoes. Allow this to simmer for a while for the flavors to meld. I would say at least 30 minutes but if you cook it low and slow you can let this do its thing for a really long time if you’d like. The longer you cook it, the more flavorful. If the sauce becomes too dry, you can add more chicken broth or a bit of water.

While the sauce simmers, I would suggest going back to the spaghetti squash. Cut each in half and scoop out the fibrous strands and seeds that are a darker yellow. Fluff it and get it ready for the magic Vodka sauce. You can plate the spaghetti squash or set portions in meal prep containers.

Vodka pasta sauce only 7g net carbs per serving - Wonderful served over a low carb alternative like spaghetti squash #lowcarb #vodkasauce #THMS

The sauce is almost ready, return the sausage to the sauce and salt and pepper to your liking, let it simmer for 2-5 minutes.  Finally, it is the time to add the magic. Heavy. Cream. Stir that stuff in and taste the sauce. Pause. Yes. I know, SO GOOD. Right???! Top it with cheese!

Serve it up. I chose spaghetti squash, but you’re welcome to choose other noodle replacements like zucchini noodles. If you’re serving folks that prefer pasta, go for it, give them what they want.

If I didn’t serve this to guests, I probably would have licked the pan clean. It’s not socially acceptable for some reason so… I wouldn’t judge you if you did though.

How to prep Spaghetti Squash

How To cook spaghetti squash in an Instant Pot #lowcarb #howto #THM #spaghettisquash

I wrote above on how to steam spaghetti squash but if you wanted a direct post I have a tutorial HERE on how to easily steam spaghetti squash in an Instant Pot.

It is easy and you can prepare as much as you’d need to serve a crowd or prepare for a few servings at a time. Your choice! A small spaghetti squash usually serves about 2-3 and a large can be 5-6 servings.

I try to keep spaghetti squash on hand because they hold up well prior to cooking and once cooked, they last several days in the fridge.

Instant Pot Option

You could absolutely cook this in an Instant Pot on saute mode. It will heat faster so you’ll have a shorter cook time but if you only have an Instant Pot on hand, you could make the sauce in it! I use my IP to cook spaghetti squash while cooking the sauce, but you could steam the spaghetti squash ahead of time!

Meal Prep

This recipe would be great for meal prep. You could store the sauce in individual serving jars or you could put it in a partitioned food prep container. Put your low carb pasta like spaghetti squash on one side and the sauce on the other side.

For THM friends, this is an (S)

Vodka Pasta Sauce

A rich and decadent lower carb pasta sauce with Italian sausage, a variety of tomatoes, and the perfect mix of flavors, finished with heavy cream. This is the sauce you’ll make when you want to wow guests, or simply enjoy a meal with your family.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time50 mins
Chicken, Low Carb, Main Course, Sauce, Sausage, THM-S
Cuisine: American, Italian
Cheese, garlic, Low Carb, Pasta sauce, THM, THM-S, Tomato, Vodka Sauce
Servings: 8
Calories: 235kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 lb Italian Chicken sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 shallots minced
  • ¾ c Vodka
  • 1 C chicken bone broth
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes 14.5 oz
  • 1 can tomato paste 6 oz
  • ¼ c sun-dried tomatoes finely chopped
  • ¾ C heavy cream
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste
  • 1 Cup Shredded cheese For topping

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan, brown chicken Italian sausage – set aside.
  • Add avocado oil and butter to a saucepan and heat on low
  • Sautee shallots and garlic on low for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add vodka in a slow stream, allow it to reduce to half (3 minutes).
  • Return cooked sausage to the pan
  • Allow to simmer and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • You can simmer this sauce for as long or as short as you’d like but I suggest 30+ minutes to get a good flavor. If it is too thick you can add more chicken stock 1 Tbsp at a time.
  • Finally, sir heavy cream into the sauce. It is now ready to serve. 

Notes

The alcohol content in the vodka will cook out during the boiling and reduction process. 
For a slightly lighter version, you could use half & half instead of heavy cream.
You can also use pork Italian sausage or any variety of sausage, but note that it will change the nutritional value.
 

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