Vodka penne

    2 hours 30 min

    Also known as vodka alla penne (or 'penne al pomedoro e vodka' in Italy), this pasta dish that originated in the 1970's uses vodka to balance the richness of a tomato cream sauce and to bring out and enhance the flavour of crushed red chilli.

    37 people made this

    Serves: 2 

    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chilli flakes
    • 125ml vodka
    • 800g passata
    • 250ml single cream
    • 4 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
    • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
    • 450g penne pasta

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:2hr20min  ›  Ready in:2hr30min 

    1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook and stir until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed chilli and cook, stirring, for an additional minute.
    2. Stir the vodka, passata and light cream into the onion mixture, turn heat to high and bring sauce to the boil. Reduce heat to low, stir in the Pecorino Romano cheese and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Season finished sauce with salt and pepper.
    3. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to the boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the penne and return to the boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through but is still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes. Drain well in a sieve set in the sink. Transfer pasta to a large bowl and pour vodka sauce over, tossing to coat pasta with the sauce to serve.

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    Reviews in English (31)


    Wow! This was very good. I sauteed the garlic along with the onion then added the crushed red pepper flakes. After adding the crushed tomatoes I added 1 Tbsp. of basil, 1/4 tsp. of oregano, 1 tsp. of parsley, 1/2 tsp. of salt and 2 tsp. of sugar. I also used a good vodka and half and half instead of light cream and parmesan instead of romano (didn't have any on hand). I used 1/2 pound of penne pasta and served this with garlic breadsticks. The sauce was even better the next day!  -  17 Aug 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This was absolutely wonderful. We had invited some friends over and I was looking for vegetarian recipes. It was a hit with everyone! I had calculated for 12 people and was afraid there wouldn't be enough when I saw the amount of sauce. I did use only one 1/2 boxes of Penne Pasta but had more than enough for everyone.  -  26 Dec 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    If you are reading this review you should know there is no reason to try any other recipe. THIS IS THE BEST and so easy! Some other recipes are overly complicated. This is simple and delicious. Thank you LJ! This is amazing!  -  06 Jul 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)