Trying Gigi Hadid’s Simple Spicy Vodka Sauce with Pasta
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Another day, another pasta recipe. But this isn’t just an ordinary pasta recipe. This is Gigi Hadid’s pasta recipe, crafted and displayed on her Instagram stories for all the world to see. Once Gigi Hadid posts a lengthy Instagram story depicting her pasta dinner, you have no other choice but to screenshot the story thread and try it out for yourself. I was hesitant at first because the ingredients and steps seemed simple enough but boy, does this dish have some flavor!
Let’s get started.
What you’ll need for this recipe:
¼ cup of olive oil
Small clove of garlic
¼ shallot (Gigi only had red onion so that’s what she used!)
Your choice of vodka
¼ cup of tomato paste
½ cup of heavy cream
Red pepper flakes
Fresh parmesan cheese
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon of butter
The measurements listed are for 2 servings. I was cooking for my family, so I doubled everything! The recipe is relatively simple to put together and took me around 30 minutes to prepare. I suggest boiling the pasta water while you’re assembling everything else.
In a large saucepan, heat your olive oil, diced garlic and shallot at medium high heat. If you’re using red onion instead of shallot, only use ¼ of the onion for two servings and half an onion for four. My local grocery store was fresh out of shallots so I used red onion. Cook until soft! This should take 3 to 4 minutes.
Next, add in your tomato paste. I added a bit extra then what was called for because I felt like it. Cook until the sauce becomes a deeper red and the onions are a bit caramelized. Once onions become translucent and a bit brown, that’s when you know you’re done!
Now for the vodka. Add a tablespoon of whatever vodka you have laying around to the sauce. Gigi says to stir until evaporated but as an amateur chef, I wasn’t quite sure what that meant so I looked it up. Ultimately, you leave the vodka in long enough for just the alcohol to be left behind. I waited 2 to 3 minutes then continued. I researched what vodka even did to the sauce in the end and learned that there are a few benefits. Vodka captures the flavors and enhances it, allowing you to taste every seasoning in all its glory. The liquid also has an emulsifying ability, allowing the sauce to become creamy and the tomato to become more tomatoey. It may not make sense now but once you taste it, you’ll get me.
Splash in your heavy cream, and add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes next. You can always add more or less of the flakes depending on how spicy you would like it. I suggest not using the flakes as a topping or garnish in the end just because the texture will add some crunch, unless you’re into that. Stir until combined and season with salt and pepper! I was really tempted to add garlic salt at this point but I’m so glad I didn’t. Less is more in this recipe.
Throw your pasta into the boiling water. It doesn’t matter what type of noodle you use. Gigi used shells while I used cavatappi. If you’re wanting a heartier meal, I suggest thicker noodles like rigatoni, cavatappi and rotini. When the pasta is done, save ¼ cup of pasta water before draining! This is important – you’ll thank me later.
Add pasta, pasta water and a tablespoon of butter to the saucepan. The pasta water allows for the sauce to stick better to the noodle. At first, I didn’t believe it but once I added it, I did see a difference!
Stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sauce is looking nice. Add ¼ cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese and stir! Make sure everything looks mixed together. Then, you’re done! To plate, sprinkle some leftover parmesan and chopped basil!
Overall, my family voted that this is for sure a keeper. I was doubtful once reading all the ingredients because it looked like it would lack flavor, but I was definitely wrong. I didn’t add any extra seasonings or ingredients, and it was perfect. The part that took the longest was the chopping but everything was relatively easy to put together. Feeling one step closer to becoming a part of the Hadid family…a girl can dream. Make sure to tag us if you use the recipe. Happy cooking and remember, the phone eats first.