Penne alla vodka is one of my favorite pasta dishes. Unfortunately, it’s not common on menus… so I learned how to make it at home! This dish is so easy and delicious that I make it every few weeks. You (and your family) are sure to love this quick, fool-proof recipe.
One of the great things about this recipe, aside from its flavor and ease, is you don’t have to feel too guilty about eating it. For a vodka sauce, it’s relatively healthy using only a minimal amount of cream and butter. So what are you waiting for? Go heat up your skillet!
Penne alla Vodka
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
6 oz. Penne Pasta
1 14.5 oz. can San Marzano Tomatoes (~6-7 tomatoes with their juices)
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
5 cloves Garlic, minced
Red Pepper Flakes
2 tbsp. Vodka
1/4 c. Cream
1 tbsp. chopped Fresh Parsley
Generous 1/4 c. Parmesan (I use freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano)
1. In a skillet or sauce pan, combine the olive oil and garlic then cook over medium heat until golden.
2. While the garlic is browning, puree the tomatoes. Once the garlic is golden, add the tomato puree to the skillet and bring to a boil. 3. Season with red pepper flakes and boil two minutes. Then, add the vodka and lower heat to a simmer.
4. While your sauce is simmering, cook the penne. When the penne only has a few minutes left to cook, stir the cream into the sauce and increase the heat to medium. I usually add the cream with 3-5 minutes left on the pasta depending on the thickness of the cream. If your cream is pretty thin, you’ll want to give it more time to reduce so add it earlier. 5. When the penne is done, season the sauce with salt and pepper, and add the cooked pasta to the sauce.
6. Once you’ve mixed the pasta and sauce, stir in the parsley and most of the parmesan (save a little to sprinkle over the pasta when you serve it). I also like to stir in a little dab of butter to give the sauce more depth.
7. Serve up the pasta and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. I like to serve this dish with a green vegetable (usually green beans or broccoli) – check our Veggies and Sides for some ideas. If you like bread with your pasta try our Round Rosemary Focaccia. At less than 40 minutes from cutting board to table, this quick but tasty dinner will be one of your new favorite weeknight recipes.