Back in March of this year I made my own pineapple and basil vodka. It was pretty unique and delicious, but admittedly it was very, very basil-y. The pineapple taste was somewhat overpowered by the basil, making it a sort of savoury vodka rather than a sweet one. Because of this I tend to refer to it as being simply Basil Vodka, because that is pretty much what it is. Since then I have drunk some on a few occasions, it's very nice with some soda water and a generous squeeze of lemon. However, you have to be in the right mood for a tall glass of basil flavoured soda water, so more than half of the bottle is still sitting in my fridge.
I figured I would have to come up with some new ways to use it, and I decided that since it was pretty savoury I would use it in my savoury cooking. However, if you don't want to make a whole batch of basil vodka (although, once you realise how good it tastes in pasta sauce then you might!) you can make a quick substitute. Just take the 1/4 cup vodka needed for this recipe and put it in a glass jar with a lid. Finely chop some fresh basil leaves (I'd say at least 7-8) and put it in the jar with the vodka. Put the lid on and shake well. Leave for a minimum of 2 hours, overnight would be best. Shake it up whenever you remember. Then just add both the vodka and the basil to the recipe at step 3.
400g pasta, I used fusili
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 mushrooms, washed and chopped
1/4 cup basil vodka
1 tin diced tomatoes, including the juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp soy sauce
1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is transparent and softened.
2. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they have cooked down and released their lovely mushroom-y juices.
3. Add the vodka, tomatoes, herbs, tomato paste and soy sauce and simmer briefly. All you really want to do it cook the herbs sightly, so only 1-2 minutes.
4. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the pasta for a minute less than it tells you to on the back of the packet (pasta never needs to be cooked for as long as the packet says!).
5. Drain the pasta and stir through the sauce. Add cracked black pepper to taste (but you will not need salt because you have added soy sauce instead!).
6. Serve immediately.