Vodka Sauce Ragout

February 24, 2020

Recipe by Local Roots recipe contributor, Chef Casey Corn @casey_corn


Well whaddaya know...another pasta recipe! Honestly, while I love the Local Roots produce, the meat is what gets me really excited every week. I've played around with the Flat Iron steak on the grill, but it was Sunday, which always calls for a ragout! Obviously, I had to move away from the classic red sauce base and into vodka sauce territory, because I love any excuse to make a pink sauce. Start this one in the morning and let it go low and slow all day for an epically soft ragout. 


1 ea flat iron steak

1½ Tbs kosher salt

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 tsp unsalted butter

5 ea garlic cloves

2 c tomato sauce

3 Tbs vodka

½ c half and half

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

½ c grated parmesan

½ lb pasta, shape of your choice



1. Preheat oven to 280F.

2. Pat steak dry, then season heavily with kosher salt. Let sit about 5-10 minutes before cooking, and pat dry again if necessary.

3. In a large saute pan or skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. When hot, brown steak on both sides, about 3-5 minutes each side. When golden, add in the butter and garlic cloves, and stir garlic cloves into the fat. Saute about 2 more minutes, until garlic starts to take on some light color, then add in tomato sauce. If your tomato sauce is thick, add in a ¼ cup of water. Bring up to a simmer, then cover with foil or a lid and place in oven. Braise at least 3 hours, keeping an eye on the sauce so that it doesn’t burn. Steak is done when it is fork tender.

4. Boil a pot of heavily salted water, and cook pasta according to box directions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water to add to your ragout.

5. Remove steak from oven, and carefully take off the lid. Transfer garlic cloves to a small frying pan, and add the red pepper flakes and the second tablespoon of olive oil. Turn the heat on medium-low, until warm and fragrant, then add in vodka and turn up the heat to flambe. BE VERY CAREFUL as the vodka will flame up high. When the fire dies down, add in the half and half and bring to a simmer. Use a fork to mash the garlic cloves into the sauce.

6. Once the vodka sauce has simmered for about 3 minutes to remove the fresh cream flavor, add back into the pan with the steak and tomato sauce, as well as the reserved pasta water, and use a fork and large spoon to shred the steak while mixing all the ingredients together. Sprinkle in parmesan and stir to combine.

7. Toss the pasta into the sauce, and serve with extra parmesan.

Recipe by Local Roots recipe contributor, Chef Casey Corn @casey_corn

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