Q. My favourite pasta is penne in a vodka sauce. I try to make it at least once a month, but I’m not a huge fan of making the sauce from scratch each time. I’ve tried several types of canned vodka sauces, but I can’t find one I like. They don’t taste the same! I’ve been toying with the idea of making a double batch of vodka sauce the next time so that I can freeze a batch for later. I’ve heard that alcohol doesn’t freeze properly though, so I’m not sure if that would work. Can you freeze vodka sauce?
A. Yes, you can freeze vodka sauce! Penne in vodka sauce is a great pasta, but it’s true that making the sauce can be a bit time consuming. Not to worry, though, making a double batch to freeze is a great way to cook once and eat twice! Many cooks freeze their vodka sauces without trouble, and you can too. Be aware that the texture will change a bit upon freezing, but it can be easily brought back to normal.
Start with a freshly made sauce. Most vodka sauces also contain milk or cream, so while it’s important to allow it to come to room temperature before freezing, don’t leave it out on the counter for too long. Once your sauce is at room temperature, then it’s ready to freeze. Freezing it before cooling will cause ice crystals to form and can cause freezer burn.
Stand a freezer bag in a large bowl and fold the bag over the rim. This will help keep the bag stable and make it easier to pour the sauce. Fill the freezer bag with the vodka sauce, leaving a bit of headroom for expansion. Then seal the freezer bag, then label and date it. It can then be placed flat in the freezer. Vodka sauce will last 3-6 months in the freezer.
To use the sauce, remove the bag from the freezer and allow it to thaw completely in the fridge for several hours or overnight. When ready to use, pour the vodka sauce into a saucepan. You may notice that the sauce has separated or has a gritty texture. Not to worry! Using a whisk, stir the sauce as you gently heat it in the saucepan. Once the sauce is heated through, it should have returned to its original consistency.