Warm Tomato Vodka Shots with Cheese

Gino D'Acampo gets adventurous with shot glasses, vodka and spicy tomato sauce
By Gino D'Acampo
Warm Tomato Vodka Shots with Cheese
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 1 litre sauce, serves 8-10
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the tomato sauce

  • 500 g plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 large cloves garlic, bruised
  • 100 g onions, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp basil-infused vodka
  • 2 tbsp flat-leafed parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp hot red chilli sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper, to taste

To finish

  • 4 tbsp vodka
  • 2 tbsp parmigiano reggiano, grated
  • 2 tsp finely chopped basil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 8-10 balls buffalo mozzarella, each approximately 2.5cm across
  • 8-10 basil

To serve

  • small wedges of focaccia, or bread sticks
  • dried red chilli flakes, (optional)


1. Wash and score the tops of the tomatoes with a cross and cover with boiling water. Remove the tomatoes from the water and plunge into icy cold water to stop them from cooking.

2. Peel, the tomatoes and squeeze out all the seeds. Finely chop the flesh and set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan set over a moderate heat. Add the bruised garlic to the pan and cook until golden brown approximately 3-4 minutes.

4. Add the onions and cook until soft - this should take around 4-5 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan and discard.

5. Tip in the tomatoes and add the basil-infused vodka, parsley, chilli sauce, sugar and seasoning. Bring to a boil and then simmer, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes - until cooked down and thickened. Measure out 450ml of the sauce.

6. To finish, warm the tomato sauce with the vodka, Parmesan cheese, chopped basil and sugar - the Parmesan should melt into the sauce. Transfer to a blender and whiz to a smooth purée.

7. Pour the tomato and cheese mixture into tall shot glasses. Float a ball of mozzarella cheese on the top of each glass and tuck in a basil leaf.

8. Serve warm with breadsticks or focaccia. If you prefer a spicy version of this recipe, sprinkle red chilli flakes over the top.

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