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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
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