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Penne Alla Vodka

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Vodka sauce is basically the quintessential tomato cream sauce. Check out my Penne alla Vodka recipe for one of the best vodka sauce recipes out there.


  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ cup vodka
  • 128 oz can whole peeled, San Marzano tomatoes
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Whole small basil leaves or torn larger leaves, for garnish
  • Freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese, for serving


  1. Cook onions: Warm a large sauce pot over medium-low heat. Add oil, followed by the onions, and season with salt. Maintain heat over low to medium-low, and cook until onions are sweet and caramelized with little to no color, about 40-60 minutes.
  2. Add garlic & vodka: Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté about 30 seconds; do not brown the garlic. Add tomato paste, increase heat to medium and sauté 5-7 mins, or until paste slightly deepens in color. Stir in vodka and reduce to about 1 tablespoon.
  3. Add tomatoes & cook: Stir in tomatoes, season with salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially cover and cook about 45-60 minutes, or until sauce is thickened and developed in flavor. Adjust seasoning, as needed.
  4. Blend: Transfer sauce to a blender and puree until smooth. Return sauce to the pot. Stir in cream and taste again for seasoning.
  5. Cook pasta: While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. The water should taste like salt water. After the sauce is ready, boil the pasta one minute short of al dente.
  6. Finish & serve: Add the pasta to the sauce pot and toss to coat. Garnish with basil and serve with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese. Enjoy.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Saute
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of pasta
  • Calories: 465
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 304mg
  • Fat: 14g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 68g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 12g