Week 8: Russian foods

Opening Ceremony Sochi ring fail

In honor of the Olympics, we chose “Russian foods” for the theme of the week in week 8. After finding some great (yet intense) recipes for Russian foods and looking at our calendars, we opted for “vodka”as an ingredient of the week instead.

What’d we have?

We sort of failed this week and while I had two vodka dishes planned, we only followed through on one:

Rotini with a vodka cream sauce with shrimp with a side of steamed broccoli. The pasta recipe is derived from Cooking Light.

Pasta with prawns in a vodka cream sauce

Pasta with prawns in a vodka cream sauce


  • 1/2 pound uncooked penne pasta (we used rotini)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, un-drained
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
  • Frozen de-veined prawns, tails removed
  • A few pinches of shaved Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and keep warm.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender.
  4. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and garlic; sauté 1 minute.
  5. Add vodka; bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by about half.
  7. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, broth, tomatoes and prawns; bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes; stir in cream.
  9. Stir in cooked pasta, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and basil. Serve immediately.
  10. Sprinkle with Parmesan and enjoy!

Tomato vodka sauce with prawns

I had planned on having a pork-and-pear sauté with lemon-vodka sauce but like I said, it wasn’t in our cards that week. Somebody out there make it and let me know how it is!

Next up? Potato week in anticipation of our weekend getaway to Idaho! (And with that, we’ll almost be caught up!)

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