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A bowl of penne alla vodka pasta topped with parmesan cheese, parsley and red pepper flakes.

Penne alla Vodka

This penne alla vodka is tender penne pasta tossed in a rich and delicious tomato, vodka and cream sauce. Add a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and you'll have a restaurant quality meal in the comfort of your own home.
Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Keyword penne alla vodka
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 521kcal
Author Sara Welch


  • 16 ounces penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes plus more for garnish if desired
  • 28 ounce can Italian style or San Marzano whole tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  • 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.
  • Place the tomatoes in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Pour the tomato puree into the pan.
  • Add the vodka to the pan. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes over medium low heat.
  • Stir in the heavy cream and parmesan cheese and simmer for another 5 minutes or until thickened. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to coat. Sprinkle with parsley, parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes (optional), then serve.


Calories: 521kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 433mg | Potassium: 462mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 965IU | Vitamin C: 12.9mg | Calcium: 223mg | Iron: 2.4mg