Penne Vodka

Penne Vodka is one of my daughter’s favorite dishes. There are many different versions of this recipe, and we have tried most variations. The recipe below has been modified to include our favorite ingredients. Serve warm with grated parmesan cheese.


1 lb. Penne Pasta
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
½ Cup Onion, Minced
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
¼ Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
¼ Cup Vodka
1 28-oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 Tsp. Salt & 1 Tsp. Pepper
¾ Cup Heavy Cream
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
2 Tbsp. Fresh Basil Leaves, Chopped (Optional)

Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions (approx. 8-10 minutes for al dente pasta). Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. In a separate saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the minced onion and sauté for approx. 3 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for approx. 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the vodka, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Return the saucepan to medium heat and simmer for approx. 5 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and cook for approx. 3 minutes. Add the parmesan cheese and basil, if desired. Add the pasta to the sauce mixture and combine. Add the reserved cooking water if needed. Serve with additional parmesan cheese and basil.