Italian Pasta Recipes

How to make Penne alla Vodka

The Penne alla Vodka or Penne in Vodka sauce is truly an Italian classic.

One of the most famous and easy Italian dish!



Serving: 4 servings



  • 16 oz Penne rigate
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • shallot, minced
  • garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3/4 cup vodka
  • 1 can (14 oz.) tomato purée
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • coarse salt, optional
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (If you want spicy version)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano



  1. 1.  Prepare pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 to 1 ½ cups of pasta water.
  2. Add olive oil to a large pan, sauté shallots and garlic over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes; or, until shallots are translucent (do not burn garlic). 
  3. Add vodka, stir, and allow to reduce 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Stir in tomato puree and heavy cream and bring to a simmer.
  5. Reduce heat to low and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Sprinkle in 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.
  7. Add more if you prefer a spicier sauce.
  8. Add cooked pasta to sauce over low heat, adding reserved pasta water a little at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  9. Remove from heat.  If desired, add more salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.


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