Penne alla Vodka

A easy flavorful pasta sauce you can use with any of your favorite pasta’s.



1 medium yellow onion finely chopped

5 cloves of garlic minced

1/4 cup olive oil

1/41/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

16 ounce can tomato paste

1/4 cup vodka

1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1/4 cup creme fraiche ( or sour cream, Greek yogurt)

salt & pepper

fresh basil for serving

fresh grated parmesan for serving


In a saute over medium heat add the onion, garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until completely soft, about 10 minutes. If the onions start to brown, lower the heat. Stir in a 6-ounce can of tomato paste and increase the heat to high. Stir almost constantly until the tomato paste has turned deep red and is very thick and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, then add 1/4 cup vodka and stir until incorporated. Add 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth and stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium. Continue to cook until the sauce thickens slightly, stir in 1/4 cup crème fraîche. Cook for 5 more minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add some more chicken broth or pasta water to thin it out if needed. Taste and season with more salt and red pepper flakes. Serve immediately with cooked pasta of your choice, topped with parmesan and torn fresh basil leaves.


This recipe is being written and posted in the spring of 2020 during our home stay during the coronavirus. Chef Shelly also recommends you make a cocktail with that vodka and have a drink as you cook.

Stay Healthy & Buon Appetitio!