“Vodka” Sauce

200-250g pasta (enough for two)
1 T salted butter
1/2 T olive oil
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1 scallion (white-light green parts), finely sliced
2 peeled plum tomatoes (optional, if using do less paste)
2+ T tomato paste
1 T gochujang
1/2 T maggi or soy sauce
dash black pepper
dash red pepper
1/4-1/2 cup shaoxing wine, sherry, or white wine
1/4-1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup pasta water reserved
1 T cream cheese
parmesan, freshly grated
salt to taste (if needed)

Heat butter and olive oil in a large pan on medium heat.

Add onions and garlic, sautéing until soft. Add tomato paste and gochujang, melding the flavours and stirring for at least 5 more minutes.

Add about half of your wine, and stir until it mostly evaporates. Season with ground peppers and maggi. Add the rest of the wine and some of the milk. Let it reduce on medium-low heat while your pasta cooks until al dente.

To the sauce, add your pasta water and cream cheese, stir until well mixed. Finally, add the rest of the milk to loosen up the sauce. Stir well.

Drain your pasta and toss in the sauce for a couple minutes, until throughly coated.

Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Optional toppings: fresh basil, red chili powder, scallion greens.