Last Updated on December 26, 2023
Gochujang vodka pasta is a delicious Asian fusion dish that combines the savory flavors of gochujang paste, garlic, and vodka with a creamy cheese sauce and al dente spaghetti. This dish is a great way to spice up your pasta night, and it is sure to be a hit with the whole family.
Plus, it’s a simple one-pot meal that can be made in less than 30 minutes. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or just something a little bit different for your next dinner party, gochujang vodka pasta is sure to please.
Table of Contents
What is Gochujang Vodka Pasta?
Gochujang vodka pasta is an Asian-inspired dish made with a combination of gochujang paste, garlic, vodka, cream, and cheese. The gochujang paste adds a unique savory flavor to the dish, while the vodka helps to mellow out the strong flavor of the gochujang.
The cream and cheese add a rich creamy texture to the dish, and the garlic adds depth of flavor. This dish is easy to prepare and can be served as a main course or side dish.
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What does it Taste Like?
Gochujang vodka pasta has a unique flavor that is savory and slightly sweet. The gochujang paste adds a deep, earthy flavor to the dish, while the vodka gives it a slight sweetness.
The garlic and cheese add a rich creamy texture, while the cream adds richness and depth of flavor. This dish is sure to be a hit with the whole family.
- 1/2 lb Pasta (rigatoni): Pasta is the base of the dish and provides a hearty and satisfying element to the meal. Rigatoni, with its ridges, helps trap and hold onto the sauce.
- 2 tbsp Butter (divided): Butter adds richness and a smooth, creamy texture to the sauce. It also helps balance the heat from the Gochujang paste.
- 1 Shallot (diced): Shallots bring a milder, sweeter flavor compared to onions. They add depth and complexity to the sauce without overpowering the dish.
- 2 cloves Garlic (minced): Garlic is a key aromatic that enhances the overall flavor of the dish. It adds a savory note and complements the other ingredients.
- 1.5 tbsp Tomato Paste: Tomato paste contributes a concentrated tomato flavor, lending a sweet and umami depth to the sauce. It also helps thicken the sauce.
- 1.5 tbsp Gochujang Paste: Gochujang is a Korean fermented chili paste that brings a unique and complex combination of sweet, spicy, and savory flavors. It adds depth and a hint of heat to the pasta dish.
- 1/8 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional; more or less to taste): Red pepper flakes provide additional heat and spice to the dish. They are optional and can be adjusted according to personal preference.
- 2 tbsp Vodka: Vodka deglazes the pan, helping to lift and incorporate flavorful bits stuck to the bottom. It also adds a subtle, unique depth to the sauce and helps enhance the overall flavor profile.
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream: Heavy cream contributes to the creamy and luscious texture of the sauce. It helps mellow out the spiciness from the Gochujang and adds a luxurious mouthfeel.
- 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese (freshly grated; more to serve): Parmesan cheese adds a salty and nutty flavor to the dish. It also helps thicken the sauce and provides a satisfying umami kick.
- Salt and Pepper to taste: Salt enhances the overall flavor of the dish, and pepper adds a bit of warmth. Adjusting these to taste is essential for achieving a well-balanced pasta dish.
Step 1: Cook the Pasta
- Follow the instructions on the pasta package to cook it until it reaches the al dente stage.
- Before draining, remember to reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water for later use.
Step 2: Sauté Shallot and Garlic
- In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.
- Add diced shallot and minced garlic to the melted butter.
- Sauté the shallot and garlic until they become softened and fragrant.
Step 3: Add Tomato Paste, Gochujang, and Red Pepper Flakes
- Incorporate tomato paste, Gochujang paste, and red pepper flakes into the skillet.
- Stir the ingredients together, ensuring they are well combined.
- Cook the mixture for 1-2 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
Step 4: Introduce Vodka and Simmer
- Pour in the vodka and allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes.
- This step helps cook off the alcohol, leaving behind the essence of the vodka.
Step 5: Incorporate Heavy Cream
- Reduce the heat to low and slowly add the heavy cream to the skillet.
- Stir the mixture continuously to ensure the cream is well incorporated.
Step 6: Add Butter and Parmesan
- Once the heavy cream is well combined, add the remaining tablespoon of butter.
- Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese, ensuring it melts into the sauce.
- Continue stirring until the sauce achieves a smooth and creamy consistency.
Step 7: Season and Adjust Consistency
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- If the sauce is too thick, gradually add some of the reserved pasta water until reaching the desired consistency.
Step 8: Combine Pasta and Sauce
- Add the cooked pasta to the skillet, tossing it to evenly coat with the creamy sauce.
Step 9: Serve Hot
- Serve the pasta hot, and if desired, garnish with additional Parmesan cheese.
Enjoy your delicious pasta with a flavorful and creamy vodka sauce!
• Use good quality gochujang paste for best flavor.
• If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more cream.
• For a spicy kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
• For a more intense flavor, use vodka with a higher alcohol content.
• For a dairy-free option, use vegan cream and vegan cheese.
What to Serve with Gochujang Vodka Pasta?
Gochujang vodka pasta is a hearty and flavorful dish that pairs well with a variety of sides. Here are some suggestions to serve alongside it:
• Roasted vegetables
• Grilled or roasted proteins such as chicken, pork, or beef
• Garlic bread
• Sauteed mushrooms
• Roasted potatoes
How to Store Leftover Gochujang Vodka Pasta?
Gochujang vodka pasta can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, simply place the pasta in a skillet over low heat and stir until heated through.
What Other Substitutes Can I Use in Gochujang Vodka Pasta?
If you don’t have gochujang paste, there are a few other ingredients that can be used as a substitute, such as:
• Soy sauce
• Fish sauce
• Miso paste
• Sambal oelek
Gochujang Vodka Pasta
- large skillet
- 1/2 lb Pasta rigatoni
- 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese freshly grated; more to serve
- 2 tbsp Butter divided
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- 1.5 tbsp Gochujang Paste
- 2 tbsp Vodka
- 1 Shallot diced
- 1.5 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1/8 tsp Red Pepper Flakes optional; more or less to taste
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water and then drain the pasta.
- In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the diced shallot and minced garlic, and sauté until softened.
- Add the tomato paste, Gochujang paste, and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Stir to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in the vodka and let it simmer for a couple of minutes, allowing the alcohol to cook off.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the heavy cream, stirring continuously. Once the mixture is well combined, add the remaining tablespoon of butter and grated Parmesan cheese. Stir until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a bit of the reserved pasta water to reach your desired consistency.
- Add the cooked pasta to the skillet, tossing to coat the pasta evenly with the sauce.
- Serve the pasta hot, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.
- Use good quality gochujang paste for best flavor.
- If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more cream.
- For a spicy kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- For a more intense flavor, use vodka with a higher alcohol content.
- For a dairy-free option, use vegan cream and vegan cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I freeze gochujang vodka pasta?
Yes, gochujang vodka pasta can be frozen for up to 3 months. Be sure to store it in an airtight container and thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Can I make gochujang vodka pasta vegan?
Yes, gochujang vodka pasta can be made vegan by using vegan cream and vegan cheese.
Can I prepare gochujang vodka pasta ahead of time?
Yes, gochujang vodka pasta can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days before reheating.
Can I make gochujang vodka pasta without vodka?
Yes, gochujang vodka pasta can be made without vodka. Simply omit the vodka and add an additional tablespoon of gochujang paste for more flavor.
Is gochujang vodka pasta gluten-free?
Yes, gochujang vodka pasta can be made gluten-free by using a gluten-free pasta such as brown rice or quinoa pasta.
Gochujang vodka pasta is a delicious Asian-inspired dish that combines the savory flavors of gochujang paste, garlic, and vodka with a creamy cheese sauce and al dente spaghetti. This dish is easy to make and can be served as a main course or side dish.
Plus, it’s a one-pot meal that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. Try it out for your next dinner party or weeknight dinner, and you’re sure to have a hit on your hands!
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Dr. Leah Alexander, M.D., is a board-certified Pediatrician in New Jersey and has been working at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey since 2000.
She also has a passion for culinary arts that extends beyond the medical realm. After completing culinary school at the French Culinary Institute, she started Global Palate, LLC, a catering firm, in 2007. She ran her own six-year-old catering company and served small group parties as an owner and executive chef.