Creamy Pasta with Vodka Sauce

Creamy Pasta with Vodka Sauce

Recipe by Laura OlsonCourse: PastaDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



A creamy pasta dish that is hearty and delicious!


  • 12 oz box of penne pasta

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 C chopped red onion

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 6 oz tomato paste

  • 2 Tbsp vodka* (see notes)

  • 1 C heavy whipping cream

  • 2 Tbsp butter

  • Parmeggiano- Reggiano cheese

  • crushed red pepper to taste

  • salt and pepper


  • Boil pasta in large pot of salted water and cook to al dente.Strain, reserving 2 C of the pasta water.
  • While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender. Add garlic, and saute for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Whisk in tomato paste. Add vodka and stir constantly to burn off the alcohol. Add the heavy cream and butter, and cook over medium heat until bubbling.
  • Add cooked pasta and pasta water as needed to get the right consistency of sauce to pasta. Mix well.
  • Serve with the parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!


  • * Why add Vodka? It’s scientific really … when you have a dish with milk or cream and an acid like tomato, the cream has a tendency to separate. The vodka acts as an emulsifier and makes the sauce creamier and enhances the overall flavor. It won’t taste like vodka, but the mysterious chemical reaction makes the sauce creamy and amazing. Enjoy a tasty vodka based cocktail while you whip this up – may I suggest a refreshing vodka gimlet?