#penne Archives » Kay's Clean Eats

Penne Alla Vodka

  Penne Alla Vodka is a hearty and delicious penne pasta tossed in a tomato-based, vodka infused sauce. This is such a delicious dinner recipe!

penne alla vodka

The base for the penne alla vodka sauce is made with Canned San Marzano tomatoes, the best Italian canned tomatoes around! I do not recommend substituting any other canned tomatoes unless you are unable to find San Marzano. 

penne alla vodka

So does the pasta taste like vodka? No, the alcohol gets cooked off, and it intensifies the tomato flavor. The family loves this dish, and the leftovers heat up so easily on the microwave or stovetop. We love to add Trader Joes unexpected cheddar to penne alla vodka, but if your not close to a trader joes no worries, shredded parmesan works great too!

There is no simmering for hours here you can have this delicious dish ready in 30 minutes.

penne alla vodka

How to make Penne Alla Vodka

  1. Boil water: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil to cook pasta.
  2. Saute onion & garlic: Heat oil and butter in a separate large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute 4 – 5 minutes, add garlic, and saute 1 minute longer.
  3. Add vodka, tomatoes & simmer: Remove pan from heat and add vodka, season with salt and pepper to taste. Return to medium-high heat, bring to a simmer then add tomatoes. Break tomatoes down with a fork or immersion blender. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer until strong alcohol scent has cooked off, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cook pasta: Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and drain pasta.
  5. Mix milk, spices, and cheese into the sauce: Stir milk into the sauce and let just heat through about 1 minute. Stir in the dried basil, garlic powder, dried oregano, and cheese. 
  6. Toss vodka sauce and penne: Add drained pasta and pasta water to the pot with vodka sauce and toss. Serve warm with more cheese and garnish with fresh basil if desired, enjoy!

Love easy weeknight recipes also try:

Yield: 6 servings

Penne Alla Vodka

Penne Alla Vodka

  Penne Alla Vodka is a hearty and delicious penne pasta tossed in a tomato-based, vodka infused sauce. This is such a delicious dinner recipe!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed finely with fork
  • 1 cup milk, I used 2%
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/4 cup shredded unexpected cheddar, or sub parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 16 ounces penne pasta 
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • fresh basil for serving 

Instructions

    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil to cook pasta.
    2. Heat oil and butter in a separate large pot over medium heat. Add onion saute 4 – 5 minutes, add garlic, and saute 1 minute longer.
    3. Remove pan from heat and add vodka, season with salt and pepper to taste. Return to medium-high heat, bring to a simmer then add tomatoes. Break tomatoes down with a fork or immersion blender. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer until strong alcohol scent has cooked off, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    4. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and drain pasta.
    5. Stir in the milk into the sauce and let just heat through about 1 minute. Stir in the dried basil, garlic powder, dried oregano, and cheese. 
    6. Add drained pasta and pasta water to the pot with vodka sauce and toss. Serve warm with more cheese and garnish with fresh basil if desired, enjoy!

Notes

1.) If you like a creamy sauce use heavy cream or half & half instead of 2% milk.

2.) For a smoother sauce use an immersion blender to break down tomatoes, or place them in a food processor before cooking.