Penne alla Vodka

I don’t eat pasta very often, but when I do, I like it smothered in vodka sauce. It’s so creamy and the best comfort food for me. You can of course buy some good vodka sauces out there, this is a super easy one to make and having it fresh is like nothing else!

Tonight, I made this pasta dish for Trevor and me, but Amelia decided she had to eat what we were having (secret: I love this!). So, I dished her up the same sized bowl as us and I kid you not, she licked the bowl clean. CLEAN! And then she asked for seconds. I should hide some veggies in it next time…. haha.

Penne alla Vodka

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Salt
  • One 35-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 pound penne
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


  1. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Stir the penne into the boiling water and cook until done, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, pour the tomatoes and liquid into a food processor. Using quick on/off pulses, process the tomatoes just until they are finely chopped.
  4. Next, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Smash the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and add them to the hot oil. Cook until the garlic is lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes into the pan with the garlic and bring to a boil. Season lightly with salt, and boil 2 minutes. Pour in the vodka, lower the heat, and simmer until the pasta is ready.
  6. Just before the pasta is done, remove the garlic cloves from the sauce and pour in the cream. Add the 2 tablespoons butter, and swirl the skillet to incorporate into the sauce. Mix in the drained pasta and stir to coat.
  7. Sprinkle parsley over the pasta and boil until the sauce is reduced enough to cling to the pasta.
  8. Remove the pot from the heat, sprinkle 3/4 cup of the cheese over the pasta, and toss to mix. Serve immediately. Enjoy! 

Adapted from:


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