In the mood for rich + lush saucy goodness? Keep reading. Pasta alla Vodka is one of those dishes that makes for a great weeknight dinner or date night at home.
Pasta alla vodka
You may have heard of Pasta alla Vodka, ordered it at your favorite Italian restaurant, or purchased a bottle of premade vodka sauce–but have you ever tried your hand at making it yourself? It’s one of those low commitment, high reward recipes.
Inspired by Jon and Vinny’s (Los Angeles) Fusilli alla Vodka, this flavorful and easy-to-make dish is so good, you’d be surprised you can make this deliciousness in the comfort of your kitchen.
Ingredients in pasta alla vodka
Pasta alla Vodka is a popular Italian-American pasta dish. The rich and creamy sauce is heavier bodied, an exceptional dish to eat during the colder months, and consists of heavy cream, tomato paste, onions (shallots for this recipe), garlic, and vodka–added and tossed with tubular shaped pasta.
Other variations of of this dish contain pancetta (delish!) and/or topped with basil. Although you can add both, this variation is a beautiful duo of sauce + pasta and is absolutely delicious!
Quick and easy meal
What’s great about this recipe is that it only takes 30 minutes from start to plate–which makes this a fantastic, easy + quick weeknight option and great for date night eats at home.
Ideal pasta shape
As far as the perfect pasta shape, oftentimes you’ll see penne, fusilli, rigatoni, or other tubular or textured pastas used, as it’s a great vessel to holding sauce.
Pictured is mafaldine pasta–which I used for its fun fork-twirl appeal and ability to capture the sauce incredibly well.
In need of a wine pairing?
If you’re looking to fancify this dish, pair it with a light or medium-bodied red wine. I’m a huge fan of natural red wines that have a slight chill to them–absolutely delish!
If natural wines aren’t your thing, you can’t go wrong with a bottle of Chianti.
Looking for more delicious eats?
Loving this pasta alla vodka recipe?
Pasta alla Vodka
- 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup shallot
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 tube double-concentrated tomato paste
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons vodka
- ¾ cups heavy cream
- 2½ ounces parmesan reggiano, freshly grated
- 1 pound dry pasta of choice
- Kosher salt
- ¾ cup pasta water, reserved
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot + garlic and cook until softened, 6 minutes.
- Add butter, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes. Stir and press tomato paste into pan. Cook for 4 minutes or until tomato paste turns deep + rusty red in color and begins to caramelize. Add vodka and stir until liquid evaporates. Be sure to cook for at least 2 minutes to ensure alcohol cooks off.
- Turn heat to low and slowly add cream. Stir until sauce is smooth and creamy in texture. Remove skillet from heat.
- Using a large dutch oven, cook pasta according to package. Be sure to add salt to the water –salty as the sea, as they say
- Reserve ¾ cup of pasta water and drain pasta into a colander
- Return to skillet containing sauce and turn heat on low. Add ½ cup of pasta water and 2 ounces of parmesan cheese. Still until cheese dissolves and water is fully incorporated into sauce. Add pasta and stir to combine. Add more pasta water (if needed, I typically only add ½ cup).
- Divide pasta among bowls and top with parmesan.