Pasta alla vodka
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An easy and quick one pot pasta dish where the sauce is the hero. Classic tomato cream sauce gets even more posh and incredible with the addition of vodka. An indulgence one must give in to!
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 3
  • Any Pasta of choice (penne, fusili,spaghetti) - handful per person
  • Red bell pepper - 1, sliced thin and long
  • Zucchini - ¼, sliced long and thin
  • ½ Onion, Chopped Finely
  • 7-8 cloves of Garlic, Chopped ( use less if you want, but nothing below 3)
  • ½ to ¾ cup of Vodka (no need of using the best quality, regular ones will do).
  • 1½ cup Tomato Puree
  • 1 cup (200ml) fresh Cream (full fat)
  • ¾ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Fresh basil - 5 or 6 leaves, rolled up and cut into chiffonade.
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 pinch Red Pepper Flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt or as per taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
For the veggies:
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Some finely chopped parsely
  • Some finely chopped basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For boiling the pasta correctly :
  1. Begin preparing the veggies while you boil the pasta as per the package directions. Always bring it out a couple of minutes before it says on the packet.
  2. Also, before draining, always ALWAYS save some of the pasta water to use later. No matter what kind of pasta you make, this is the standard method.
  3. put the pasta in only when the water is on a rolling boil. Add ample salt. NO OIL PLEASE!! If you add oil to the pasta, the sauce wont stick to it. and you really don't want that to happen.
  4. Once the pasta is al dente, reserve about a cup of water and drain it. Add a blob of butter or olive oil to the pasta to keep it from sticking. Set aside.
For the veggies: (optional). This pasta is just as good without this step.
  1. Cut the veggies in to long thin slices. Add all the ingredients mentioned above in a ziplock bag and mix the veggies with it thoroughly. Simple heat a grill and grill them till cooked, but still crunchy (should have a bite to it). About 5-6 mins. It depends on the thickness of your cut of vegetable, so be your own judge. Set aside when done. While that is happening, I get started n my sauce.
For the Pasta alla vodka sauce - the hero.
  1. In a large pan, heat some olive oil and butter over medium heat. Oil is added to the butter to ensure the butter doesn't brown too quickly.
  2. once the butter is melted, add teh chopped garlic and stir around for a bit ( 20 secs). then add the chopped onion. Stir and allow to cook for 5 mins on low heat.
  3. Next pour in the vodka. Be careful as it flames up. Best not to have kids present nearby.
  4. Stir and cook for five minutes.
  5. Add in tomato puree and stir. Add a big pinch of black pepper, chillie flakes, salt , ½ tsp sugar, fresh basil and let it cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Keep stirring to make sure it doesnt stick.
  6. Add in cream on low heat (always or else it might split).
  7. Allow to simmer, be careful not to overheat. At this point add some of the reserved pasta water to reach a consistency you like. Shouldn't be gloopy or too thick. Also, taste the sauce and adjust!
  8. Now add the cooked pasta to the sauce, tossing to combine.
  9. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
  10. Serve hot with more grated parmesan and fresh bail over the top.
  11. Enjoy!
1. You can add the cheese before adding the pasta too. Right after the cream has simmered, add the cheese and mix thoroughly. There should be no lumps left. Add the pasta later and simply toss.

2. You can make the sauce ahead. It stores in the fridge easily and freezes for 3 days.

3. Toss the pasta in to the sauce and add the veggies into it before serving. the vegges also get some of the saucy deliciousness.

4. Remember not to serve this to kids!
Recipe by La Petit Chef at