Made with LOVE: (Sort Of) Lightened Up Goat Cheese Vodka Sauce

Olivieri Stuffed Pastas with Goat Cheese Vodka Sauce   #Recipe4Romance

Olivieri Stuffed Pastas with Goat Cheese Vodka Sauce
#Recipe4Romance

 

What do you do on Valentine’s Day? Do you and your honey go out for a romantic dinner? Maybe you spend the evening as a family? Or, do you put the kids to bed early and whip up a romantic dinner a deux? Quite possibly you go about your day, and just pretend it’s not happening? The last is common. A lot of people think Valentine’s Day is overrated. After all, shouldn’t we tell those we love how we feel about them every day? To this, I say absolutely yes. But, I’m also a sucker for any occasion to do something special for my family. And the day of cheesy hearts, pink and red cards, chocolate and so many kisses is just the perfect time to do that.

 

In our house, Valentine’s Day means having a special dinner at home, as a family. (Although I wouldn’t say no to bringing the romance back with a Spa retreat for two. Enter to win one from Olivieri) When we had kids, our sphere of sweetheart just grew. We’re not desperate for alone time – my husband and I have always gone out on our own whenever we want (I’m a firm believer in babysitters and adult time.) And so our interpretation of a romantic dinner is now being able to get all five of us at the table at the same time.

 

This year I’m going to be making one of my kids’ absolute favourites – Pasta with Vodka sauce. Since I’m always on the lookout for ways to feed the family a little healthier, I lightened up the recipe a bit by using 15% table cream instead of full cream, all the while enhancing the richness with light goat cheese. The homemade sauce is a little chunkier than store bought, but, as my son says, tastes so good that after he took each bite, he couldn’t wait to have another. I created two pasta platters- one with Olivieri’s classic Spinach & cheese Ravioli, and the other with Olivieri Italian Sausage Borsetti (the little sausage purses were just precious).

 

Olivieri Spinach & Cheese Ravioli with Goat Cheese Vodka Sauce.jpg

Olivieri Spinach & Cheese Ravioli with Goat Cheese Vodka Sauce
#Recipe4Romance

 

Best part? Dinner’s on the table in just about 30 minutes! 

 

Olivieri Italian Sausage Borsetti with Goat Cheese Vodka Sauce

Olivieri Italian Sausage Borsetti with Goat Cheese Vodka Sauce
#Recipe4Romance

 

Stuffed Pasta with Goat Cheese Vodka Sauce

 

(Note: this is a double recipe, so you’ll have lots leftover to freeze or eat on another night)

 

What You’ll Need:

 

1 medium cooking onion, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup of good quality vodka (plus a shot for mom)

1 cup organic chicken stock

2 large cans of good quality diced tomatoes (imported preferred)

2/3 cup 15% cooking cream (or half & half)

1/4 cup light goat cheese, crumbled

1/4 tsp or to taste, red pepper flakes

Salt & pepper to taste

1 tbsp each olive oil and coconut oil

1 800 gram package each Olivieri spinach and cheese Ravioli & Olivieri Italian Sausage Borsetti (or the pasta of your choice)

Parmesan petals for garnish

 

What You’ll Do:

 

Put two large pots of water on the stove for the pasta. Bring them to the boil.

 

Heat the two oils in a large skillet. Add the onions and garlic and cook on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until translucent and fragrant. Make sure not to burn the garlic (or you’ll have to start over).  Add the Vodka and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until the mixture reduces and the alcohol burns off.

 

Add the two cans of tomatoes and stir. Bring back up to the boil and cook another 10 minutes or so, to give everything a chance to cook and blend. Add the hot peppers, stir and cook another couple of minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture to the desired consistency. Turn the heat to medium-low, and add the salt & pepper, cream, and goat cheese. Stir to combine, and keep stirring so goat cheese melts. Cook about 5 minutes, so sauce thickens slightly, and add more cream if you want. Taste and adjust seasonings.

 

 

When the sauce is just about ready, cook pasta according to package directions – it only needs 3-4 minutes. Put pasta back in cooking pot, and place over low heat. Add enough vodka sauce to coat, stir a few minutes (gently!) over the heat, then plate up, topping with more sauce and the parmesan petals.

 

Serve with crusty bread, salad, and lots of hugs.

 

For more Valentine’s Day Italian inspiration, visit Olivieri’s Facebook page or tweet your favourite romance meals using the hashtag #Recipe4Romance.

 

Leave a comment for the chance to win one of six coupons for a free Olivieri fresh pasta sauce($5.99 value).  Contest open to Canadians only and ends on February 13th (just in time for V Day!)

 

For more of my recipes – and insight into my daily life- follow me on Instagram (@chickymara)! Time to drool…

 

 

 Disclosure: This post was written in accordance with my disclosure policy. I was compensated by Olivieri for writing this post. The recipe is my own, though, and so was our enjoyment of this meal. 

 

 

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