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pasta alla vodka

Pasta alla Vodka

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.
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Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 3
Author: Jeri Mobley-Arias


  • 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.