2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
½ small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
¼ cup vodka
1 x 400g (14 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 tbsp miso paste
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 whole star anise
1 whole chilli
250g (9 oz) dried pasta (I used a large, ribbed tube pasta called paccarielli rigati but penne, linguine or any other dried pasta is fine)
¼ cup cream
grated parmesan, to serve
basil leaves, to serve (optional)
Place a large pot of water over high heat. You’ll cook your pasta in this later.
In another large, deep pan over high heat, add the olive oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and allow the onion to softened for a couple of minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.
Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Stir through the vodka allow to it simmer for 2-3 minutes to concentrate the flavours. Then add the tomatoes, miso paste, soy sauce, star anise and chilli. Stir, turn the heat to medium and simmer for about 5 minutes.
In the meantime, season the water in the large pot with plenty of salt. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until just al dente (still a little firm in the middle).
While the pasta is cooking, use tongs to take out and discard the star anise and the chilli from the tomato sauce. Use a stick blender or food processor to blend the tomato sauce until smooth. Return the sauce to the pan and stir through the cream.
Drain the pasta (reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid) and add the pasta to the creamy tomato sauce. Turn the heat to low and add a few tablespoons of the pasta water. Stir the pasta until the sauce thickens up again. You can add more pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Divide among serving plates, top with parmesan, olive oil and basil and serve.