This Penne alla Vodka is a super easy and delicious, restaurant-quality pasta dish with a simple creamy tomato sauce!
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Restaurant-Style Penne alla Vodka
One of my favourite kitchen mottos is “Keep it Simple” and recipes like this Penne alla Vodka are exactly how I like to do just that. I’m a firm believer that most amazingly delicious food is made from simple, high-quality ingredients – even in in your home kitchen! This Penne alla Vodka is an absolutely stellar rendition of the Italian classic made with simple, basic ingredients, and I just know you’re going to LOVE it!
Ingredients for Penne alla Vodka
- Penne pasta
- olive oil
- tomato paste
- chili flakes
- heavy cream
- Parmesan cheese
How to make Penne alla Vodka
- Generously salt your pasta water. The key to delicious pasta is ALWAYS salty pasta water. Your pasta water should taste like the sea.
- Go for heavy cream. Heavy cream adds a richness and thick texture to the sauce that regular milk or half and half won’t. For restaurant quality, use heavy cream.
- Use real parmesan. Conventional parmesan sold in the pasta aisle of the grocery store contains stabilizers and other agents to prevent clumping and melting. Choose real, block parmesan and grate it yourself at home for best results.
- Choose the best vodka. High-quality vodka greatly increases the flavour of this dish. Use one you enjoy.
- Reserve some pasta water. Adding some pasta water to the sauce adds some starch to the sauce, making in creamy in texture.
- Enjoy immediately. Penne alla Vodka is ultra creamy right after cooking, so serve it immediately for optimum flavour and texture.
- Save some pasta water for reheating. If you must reheat it the next day, add it to a skillet over low heat and add a little bit of pasta water by the tablespoon until the sauce loosens up and becomes creamy again.
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I hope you love this delicious recipe as much as we do! Let me know in the comments below, what’s your favourite restaurant-quality dish? I’d love to know!
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Penne alla Vodka
- 1 pound penne rigate
- 1 tbsp salt for the pasta water
- 3 tbsp butter
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 shallot minced
- 4 cloves garlic pressed or minced
- 6 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/3 cup vodka choose as high quality a vodka as your budget will allow
- parmesan for serving
- chili flakes for serving
- parsley for serving
- Boil your pasta to al dente in heavily salted water.
- Melt your butter and olive oil together in a pan over medium heat. As they melt, add the chili flakes.
- Add the pressed garlic, shallot and the tomato paste and sautée until the shallot becomes translucent and the garlic and tomato paste are fragrant.
- Add the heavy cream and cook until the sauce darkens. About 5 minutes.
- Add the vodka and cook for 5-6 minutes until the alcohol cooks out.
- Drain your al dente pasta and reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water.
- Add 3/4 cups of pasta water to your sauce and cook until it starts to thicken, about 5-10 minutes.
- Add the pasta to the sauce and allow to finish cooking. If necessary, add a little bit more pasta water - just until the sauce is the desired texture.
- Add fresh grated parmesan, chili flakes, parsley and serve.