This Penne alla Vodka recipe is the perfect blend of tomato, heavy cream, garlic, and onions simmered together to make a unique, pink sauce.
It’s Wednesday!! Yay! Halfway through the week. Just two more days until the weekend. I’m already making my list of recipes for next week.
I tend to get a little over ambitious and try to cook too many things. However, some sort of pasta dish is always on this menu.
I invite you to give this penne alla vodka recipe a try to see just how simple it is to prepare this delicious pasta dish.
How to Make Penne alla Vodka:
- First, gather all the ingredients needed and prep them in bowls or cups. Go ahead and chop the garlic and onions.
- Next, cook your pasta noodles, per the box instructions but keep about a 1/2 cup of pasta water to use in the vodka sauce if it’s too thick.
Starting the Vodka Sauce:
Now, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil together in a large saucepan. Then, add the garlic, onions, and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.
Cook everything over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes. Afterward, add 1 cup of vodka. If you are working with an open flame, turn off the flame before pouring the vodka.
Finishing the Pasta Sauce:
- Please note, it’s important to let the alcohol cook out of the vodka before adding other ingredients. Otherwise, your sauce will taste boozy. That boozy taste is great in a vodka cranberry cocktail, but it’s not so tasty in penne alla vodka.
- Then, let the vodka sauce cook for about 15 minutes and then add the tomato sauce, salt, and pepper.
- After the tomato sauce has cooked for an additional 5 minutes, remove it from the heat for 7-10 minutes to cool.
- It’s time to add the heavy cream. Be sure your sauce isn’t too hot or the sauce will break!
Final Touches on the Sauce:
- Now, go ahead and simmer the sauce over low heat for 4-5 minutes. Don’t let it boil or the cream will break.
- Last, add the noodles to the sauce and toss them to coat everything evenly.
- If the sauce is too thick, use some of the reserved pasta water to thin it out.
- Garnish with fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese.
Tips for the Best Penne alla Vodka:
- Please go easy on the vodka and be sure to give it time to cook down.
- Feel free to use gluten-free noodles.
- You can use a jarred sauce then add vodka and cream for similar results.
- Add cooked chicken or pancetta to create hearty penne alla vodka recipe.
Penne Alla Vodka
- 12 - 16 ounces of penne noodles cooked
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup of vodka
- 1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Grated parmesan for serving
- Cook noodles according to package directions.
- Melt butter and olive oil together in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook until onions are translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add the vodka and allow the alcohol to cook out, about 15 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add heavy cream and stir to combine. Don't allow the sauce to become too hot or cream could break or curdle.
- Bring sauce to a simmer again and remove from heat.
- Combine sauce with noodles and toss to coat.
- Top with grated parmesan and serve immediately.