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Penne alla Vodka
Phenomenal Creamy Pasta

Penne alla Vodka

Make Penne alla Vodka for date nights or easy midweek dinner. This creamy and delicious pasta recipe is simple, quick, and the sauce is the creamiest ever.

Penne alla Vodka
When Jernej first said he was going to make Penne alla Vodka, I asked him in the same way that our toddler does, “Why? Why would you add vodka to a simple pasta sauce?” But I went with his vibe and decided to try it. And let me tell you, Penne alla Vodka isn’t famous without a good reason. This pasta sauce was one of the creamiest, most decadent, light, and luscious sauces ever. I am now obsessed with it. Even though there’s vodka in the sauce, the alcohol evaporates while cooking, so all that is left is a subtle flavor. The sauce is made with tomato sauce, heavy cream, herbs, and a little chili for spiciness. This is a simple recipe, great for date nights or weeknight dinners.

Creamy Penne alla Vodka

Penne alla Vodka is one of the creamiest, most delicious pasta recipes. The prep is simple and great for any day of the year. These are the top reasons why you should make this dish as soon as possible:

  • very creamy, fresh, light sauce, with a subtle spicy note
  • herbs add a freshness, chili adds some spiciness, and the parmesan cheese is perfect to serve
  • there's just the right amount of sauce
  • it's a beginner-friendly recipe with a quick and straightforward preparation
  • great for date-night and midweek dinners

Penne alla Vodka

Penne alla Vodka

Essential ingredients

In this simple recipe, you can find easily accessible ingredients. We don't usually have vodka at home but buy a small bottle for this recipe. The whole recipe is below; here is more information about the ingredients.

Pasta - we used small penne in this recipe, but feel free to use regular size penne too.

Herbs and spices - you can find oregano, basil, and parsley in this recipe. They add freshness to the dish. We also added some chili for some subtle sharpness and character.

Tomato - use tomato passata or homemade tomato puree and tomato paste.

Vodka - we bought a small vodka bottle for this recipe. The vodka cooks and the alcohol evaporates, so all that's left is the subtle flavor and creamy texture.

Heavy cream - makes the pasta creamy and delicious. 

Parmesan cheese - makes a lovely addition to the recipe. Always use freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


There is a simple way to store this delicious Penne alla Vodka.

Keep the chilled Penne alla Vodka in the fridge for up to 3 days. Before serving, reheat in the microwave oven or using a pot. Reheat slowly and while stirring occasionally.

Penne alla Vodka

Penne alla Vodka

How to make Penne alla Vodka at home (video)

Check this quick video to master making Penne alla Vodka at home.

Next, try these pasta recipes

Thank you, Zlato Polje for the delicious rice and for sponsoring this post.

Lets get cooking!

  • serves
  • preparation:
  • cook:
  • total time:


  • penne

    Cook the penne according to the package instructions. Drain the penne and save 180 (2/3 cup) cooking water.

  • sauce

    Place a pan with olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion, chopped oregano, and chili powder. Saute for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic, chopped parsley, and chopped basil. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Add the vodka and cook for 2 minutes for the alcohol to evaporate. Add the tomato passata and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.

  • penne alla vodka

    Stir the preserved pasta cooking water into the sauce along with heavy cream. Bring to a boil. Add the cooked penne, stir, and remove from the heat. Divide the Penne alla Vodka between four plates and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese before serving.


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