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Vodka Sauce

Vodka Sauce is a creamy, tomato-based sauce that has just the right amount of kick to go perfectly with pasta in this penne alla vodka dish.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Vodka Sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 663 kcal
Author Amanda Rettke--iamhomesteader.com


  • 16 ounces penne noodles, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup pasta water, reserved from cooked pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • fresh basil for garnish


  1. To get started, you need to make the pasta. Heat a large pot of water to boiling, add the pasta noodles, and cook them according to the package instructions.
  2. Be sure to reserve 1 cup of the cooked pasta water before you drain and rinse the noodles. Set the cooked noodles aside until you add them into the sauce.
  3. To make the vodka sauce, you will need a large skillet.

  4. Heat up the olive oil in the skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add in the garlic and shallot and cook that for 3-5 minutes, or until soft.
  6. Next, add the tomato paste, cream, vodka, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook these ingredients together until they are heated through, or 5-8 minutes.

  7. At this point, you may need to add a little of the reserved pasta water to the sauce. Add one tablespoon of water at a time until you reach your desired consistency of the sauce.
  8. Finally, pour in the cooked penne noodles and butter. Mix everything together until the butter is melted and the noodles are coated with the vodka sauce.
  9. Garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Serve warm.