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If you’ve read some of my other recipes, you know that I am a huge fan of tequila (margarita, anyone?). One of my favorite foods is pasta, and I looooove vodka sauce! One day, I went to make my traditional vodka sauce recipe (from blog 1.0), and realized that someone finished the last of my vodka.. welp! I decided to take a leap of faith and tried using tequila instead. The result? DELICIOUS tequila sauce!
The first time I ever tried vodka sauce was in Connecticut, with my then-boyfriend. We were getting takeout with his family and he ordered some type of vodka sauce. At the time, I had no interest trying it, but I did, and liked it! Fast-forward 10 years later, and I ALWAYS order vodka sauce at restaurants. Honestly, I won’t even fault my fiancé for forgetting to let me know about the lack of vodka in the house, because this sauce is even better than it’s vodka-cousin. Tequila sauce was born by accident, and I’ll never turn back!
My favorite way to serve this tequila sauce is with rigatoni, farfalle (bowties) or with the looooooooong spiral pasta, Pompeii, which was made famous by one of my favorite foodies, Foods of Jane. This tequila sauce is seriously so easy.. it’s worth keeping a bottle of your favorite tequila blanco on hand just for this dish.
What you need to make seasoned and salted’s Spicy tequila sauce:
- olive oil
- unsalted butter
- red pepper flakes
- double-concentrated tomato paste
- heavy cream
- tequila blanco
Enjoy, and as always, please let me know if you make this recipe – and if you do, don’t forget to tag @seasonedandsalted and #seasonedandsalted on Instagram!
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter, unsalted
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 tbsp tomato paste, double-concentrated
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tbsp tequila blanco (my favorite is vida tequila!)
- 1/2 lb pasta
- In your heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven, heat 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 tsp red pepper flakes. Cook until glistening. (Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil – you will need the pasta + pasta water starting in step 4!).
- Next, add 3 tbsp double-concentrated tomato paste and 2 cloves garlic (grated). Whisk and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.The red from the tomato paste should start to turn almost burnt orange.
- Once the garlic is fragrant, slowly whisk in 1 cup of heavy cream. Continue to whisk for about 3-4 more minutes until deep in an orange color.
- Now for the fun part: add 3 tbsp (1.5 oz) of tequila blanco and continue to whisk for an additional 5 minutes, or until the alcohol is cooked out.
- Make sure to reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining the cooked pasta. Add 1/8-1/4 cup pasta water to your sauce and whisk to combine. Continue to cook slowly (bring down to medium-low heat if necessary), so that the sauce can thicken up a little bit. This can take about 10 minutes. Make sure to whisk often so that the bottom does not burn. If the sauce gets too thick, you can always add a little bit more of the pasta water.
- Once the sauce has reached your desired level of thickness, add the drained pasta and toss to coat. You can also add chopped fresh basil (my favorite) or some cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano). Serve immediately.