Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce


I love pasta with Vodka cream sauce so much that a few years ago I had made it so often trying to perfect my own recipe my husband banned it for dinner. So I’ve slowly had to reintroduce it into the menu and I think I’ve seriously only made it twice in about two years. But that’s also because it’s not exactly a health conscious meal.

I hadn’t actually anticipated making it but saw a recipe in the September 2007 issue of Cooking Light and figured I try it out (even though my own recipe is fantabulous). I didn’t tell husband I was making it until it was served so I wouldn’t get any objections. This recipe is very similar to my own secret recipe (promise to post it one day…).

I used whole wheat penne for this as we typically only eat whole wheat pasta in our household. I also used crushed San Marzano tomatoes instead of the no-salt added diced tomatoes as suggested. I just cannot make a tomato sauce using any other type of tomatoes. Because I used crushed tomatoes I didn’t need to place the sauce in the blender. Instead, for a few seconds, I used my hand-held mixer in the saucepan. I also added a wee bit of diced pancetta (one of my secrets for my own recipe).

The sauce did turn out quite watery at first, but still good. When we had it the next night for leftovers, it had thickened significantly and clung to the pasta better. I would probably just stick to my own recipe but this one is a very good recipe for vodka cream sauce and I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for this recipe. Best served next day!

Overall rating – 3.5 stars

Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce

Nothing coats pasta quite like whipping cream. Although the dish uses canned tomatoes and broth for convenience, it tastes fresh because of the basil stirred in at the end.

1/2 pound uncooked penne pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup vodka
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
Cook the pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and keep warm. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add vodka; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by about half. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Place tomato mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Process until smooth. Return tomato mixture to pan; stir in cream. Cook 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked pasta, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and basil. Serve immediately.Yield:  4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)CALORIES 354 (25% from fat); FAT 9.9g (sat 3.9g,mono 4.1g,poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 8.5g; CHOLESTEROL 20mg; CALCIUM 36mg; SODIUM 662mg; FIBER 3.1g; IRON 1.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 48.6g Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2007



  1. Walter said


    I love penne ala vodka. I like to add some sliced sausage to mine along with some Kalamata olives.

    it’s delicious.

    I’ll be sure to pass your recipe along to my wife to try…


  2. foodiedani said

    Thanks Walter! Let me know how it turns out!!


  3. melissa said

    I don’t remember who else posted vodka sauce recently and I was saying I had never made one… but I am going to put it on my list right now so I don’t forget!

  4. foodiedani said

    Hey Melissa!

    Let me know who else posted this recipe, I’d like to compare! Very easy to make!


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