An Evening of Carbs

WARNING: Do not read the following post if you’re carb-shy at the moment!

For the past couple of days, I’ve had absolutely no desire to cook or bake anything new. Chalk it up to a hectic work week, weather changes, or just sheer lack of motivation. However, I did need to use up some items in my refrigerator before they went bad, namely heavy cream and buttermilk. So, leave it to Ina Garten to inspire me! Case in point: vodka tomato cream sauce (sans vodka).

Ina had Chef Joseph Realmuto on her show recently, and he made Nick and Toni’s Penna Alla Vecchia Bettola. This recipe is really good and simple! But, I did make a few modifications. First, and probably most obvious, I left out the vodka. (Call me crazy, but I’m a tequila girl.) Instead, I left in the liquid from the can of tomatoes. Second, I only used one 28-ounce can of tomatoes. Finally, I didn’t have crushed red pepper flakes, so I used chili powder instead. Is that strange?

Anyway, this looked fun to make because you get to crush the tomatoes by hand and squeeze them directly into the pan! Watch out because the first tomato will squirt and take you by surprise. Another interesting technique about this recipe was baking the sauce for an hour and a half in the oven before adding the cream. When the sauce had baked down to its flavorful essence, I gave it a quick blend and poured in the heavy cream. The sauce looked so tempting at this point that I had to taste a couple of spoonfuls straight from the pan. It was delicious!

When I poured the cooked angel hair pasta into the sauce, it turned out that I probably needed to use the second can of tomatoes as the sauce did not completely cover each strand like I would have liked. But, it tasted amazing nonetheless!

Chef Realmuto gave another tip that I found helpful. If you don’t use Parmesan cheese that often, buy it in block form. The shredded package stuff loses its flavor and potency quicker than the block. Good tip!

To round out this pasta dish, I made a pound cake that uses buttermilk from Score! This recipe did not call for a crazy amount of eggs which I found odd because don’t all pound cakes use several eggs? Instead, this recipe used one whole egg and two egg whites. The batter came together easily enough and baked nicely.

As for the taste, the cake itself was delicious but not as dense or as moist as a normal pound cake. When you took a bite, the tearaway quality of the cake was similar to the feel of angel food cake. Just a slight feel of stickiness and resistance. I suppose both characteristics can be attributed to the lack of eggs in the batter. But, I enjoyed this cake immensely! I think I’ll serve this with berries instead of angel food cake.


24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Yuri
    Mar 16, 2011 @ 21:03:08

    Oh how I love sweet carbicide! Squeezing the tomatoes sounds like a fun mess πŸ™‚ interesting take on baking the tomato sauce, I bet it had a nice roasty flavor. The cake looks great too!

  2. GPL
    Mar 16, 2011 @ 21:07:46

    Great photos!!! Looks yummy (good thing there were no raisins!)

  3. Miss Anthropist
    Mar 16, 2011 @ 22:16:59

    Hahaha gotta love that warning at the top! I am a complete carbophilic (pretend it’s a real word) so this post is pretty awesome! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  4. Jessica
    Mar 16, 2011 @ 22:40:46

    If you need recipes that use generous amounts of buttermilk or heavy cream, you could also look to Paula Dean’s recipes too. Also, where are the strawberries and whipped cream to make strawberry shortcake with the angel food cake?

  5. Ker-Yng
    Mar 16, 2011 @ 22:43:09

    I made vodka tomato cream sauce just recently and learned that if I do not like drinking vodka I probably should not make a vodka sauce as the flavour is still there after cooking! ;-p Your pasta dish looks delicious!

  6. Andrew
    Mar 16, 2011 @ 22:49:06

    That pasta sauce looks awesome, we’re going to try making it tomorrow night.

  7. Elaine
    Mar 16, 2011 @ 22:57:30

    The tomato sauce looks so good…I wonder how it would taste with the vodka? Might have to give it a try. And your pound cake does look like an angel food pound cake – it looks so light!

  8. Three-Cookies
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 05:11:53

    Interesting sauce, I will give this a try sometime

  9. Mia Summer Rose
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 07:28:24

    I am supposed to shy away from carbs but its been a long long while since any of that happenned:-)))
    That sauce looks wonderful , u chose some wonderful recipes:-)
    I agree with the tip on parmesan , totally :-))
    Im in lovee with pound cakes of late and i have actually never baked a pound cake but i like what i imagine about the flavor and texture.
    The pound cake looks fantastic to me though .

  10. ryan
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 08:18:45

    Great post! 2 of my favorite things– pasta with vodka sauce and pound cake. Your’s looks lovely– it rose so high and does look like it would be perfect with berries in the summertime. I smiled when I spotted your FFwD book peeking in one of your pics b/c mine is sitting beside me as I type this. Do we feel safer with Dorie next to us? πŸ™‚

  11. Cher
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 08:26:37

    There is no shame in carb loading. It’s survival, comfort and pleasure all rolled up into one!

  12. Domestic Goddess Wannabe
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 10:09:59

    Carbelicious – was going to have salad tonight but stuff it, pasta it is!

  13. erica@fashionmeetsfood
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 10:41:56

    That pound cake looks like it turned out absolutely wonderful!


  14. Ronda
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 11:20:37

    I love vodka sauces. Do try it with the vodka. The vodka pulls out flavors from the tomatoes that are only alcohol soluble. (Tequila might work too!) It all looks great!

  15. Steph@stephsbitebybite
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 12:29:42

    This sounds like exactly what I need for dinner tomorrow night to get ready for my 10 mile run on Sat. Love me some carbs πŸ˜‰

  16. Mary
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 16:06:22

    Carbs are my friend too. I like to eat pink vodka sauce mopped up with bread before the pasta is done cooking!

  17. Kathy
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 17:54:38

    Great post. I printed both of these recipes. The pound cake looks like a great low fat version. And I love vodka sauce!

  18. Mary
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 18:57:01

    This sounds delicious. I love pasta and am very fond of vodka sauce. Your cake looks beautiful as well. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  19. Liz
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 20:10:34

    I heartily approve of your carb choices…yum, yum and more yum!

  20. betsy
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 21:15:57

    The tomato cream sauce even sans vodka sounds delcious. I’m going to have to try it.

  21. Angela
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 21:44:28

    Yum, yum, yum! I love squishing tomatoes by hand. It reminds me to being a kid and not being afriad to get dirty.

  22. chanzdutt
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 22:18:48

    The pound luks so very healthy…..thanks for sharing

  23. Clarkie @ Beloved Green
    Mar 18, 2011 @ 15:38:39

    I’m loading up on my carbs tonight for my long run tomorrow. Yumyumyum!

  24. Laural (bhealthier)
    Mar 21, 2011 @ 15:11:54

    carbalicious!! i bought a vodka sauce this weekend because it just looked really tasty! I definitely will try my own after! My friend makes the best- its from his mom’s mom’s mom…etc.

    lb cake= heaven! Love that buttermilk worked out!

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