Creamy Tomato Vodka Pasta w/ Sausage

A few nights ago, my mom made this for my dad and her. She sent over her recipe and this yummy photo and said that it was a must try. After seeing the picture, I agreed!! Luckily, she lives only about 20 minutes from me and can bring over some leftovers to sample! She said it had amazing flavor and both my dad and her loved it!! Thanks mom, can’t wait to try it!! : )


1lb. Italian sausage
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbsp slivered fresh basil (or ¾ tsp. dried basil)
2 – 14.5oz cans of Italian seasoned diced tomatoes
¾ tsp. salt
2 tbsp vodka
½ cup heavy cream
1 lb. uncooked pasta, use penne or fusilli if possible
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add pasta, cooking until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.  In large skillet, heat oil and add Italian sausage (remove casings, if not using bulk), breaking it up as it cooks, until brown. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring until garlic is fragrant and lightly browned.  Add tomatoes and salt, bringing to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.  Add vodka and heavy cream, stirring well until fully mixed.  Toss in pasta until well coated.  Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and sprinkled with fresh chopped parsley, if desired. 
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