Penne a la Vodka is a classic sauce that is creamy and flavorful. Cooked penne pasta is coated in a rich and delicious tomato, vodka and cream sauce. The key to the velvety smooth sauce is using some tomato paste! It thickens the sauce just enough while adding a punch of flavor. Not only will you have a meal that is a hit with everyone, but you will have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes! You can also try this dish with grilled chicken or shrimp for added protein.
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- ½¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 28 ounce can San Marzano whole tomatoes
- ¼ cup vodka
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup reserved pasta water
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce.
- Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato paste, and cook, stirring often for 1-2 minutes.
- Purée the canned tomatoes until smooth and then pour the tomato purée into the pan.
- Add the vodka to the pan and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes So the vodka is cooked off AND the tomatoes begin to reduce.
- Slowly stir in the heavy cream, reserved pasta water and parmesan cheese and simmer for another 3 minutes or until thickened. Season the sauce with salt to taste.
- Add the cooked pasta into the sauce and toss to coat.
- Garnish with parsley, parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.
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