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Penne with Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce


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Rate this recipe 4.3/5 (7 Votes)


  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
  • 1/4 tsp. dried red chile flakes
  • 1/3 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz. dried penne, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)


Adapted from


Step 1

In a large heavy-based sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, thyme, oregano and chile flakes.

Add the broth and vodka to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook stirring frequently, until the liquid is reduced by about half. Lower the heat slightly, add the cream and simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the cooked penne to the pan, and toss to coat. Add the Parmigiano and toss over low heat just until the flavors meld and the pasta is heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Sprinkle with chopped parsely, if using, and serve immediately.

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