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Italian cuisine - Penne alla vodka

Penne alla Vodka

Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6



  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 whole medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup vodka (any brand)
  • 1 – 14 oz. can tomato puree or tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, freshly ground black pepper, freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped


  • Cook the pasta according to package directions to al dente.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté the garlic and onions in 2 tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil over medium-low heat until soft, but not browned (if you burn the garlic, start over!).
  • Carefully pour in the tomato puree, and then the vodka. Stir the mixture until it's thoroughly combined, and cook for about 2 minutes—the alcohol in the vodka will burn off.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Pour in the heavy cream. Stir to combine, then turn heat to the lowest possible simmer while you wait for the pasta to be done.
  • Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and add salt and pepper to taste. Finally, stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter.
  • Drain the pasta (do not rinse!) and add to the sauce; toss to combine. To serve, add a serving of the pasta to a pasta bowl or plate, then sprinkle on some parmesan, parsley, and black pepper. Serves 4-6.
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