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Penne alla Vodka

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

This take on a favorite Italian-American pasta dish is more tomatoey than most versions. For a creamier sauce, add another 2 Tbs. cream.


  • Kosher salt
  • 12 oz. penne
  • 1 28-oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes in juice, preferably San Marzano
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 large cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 670
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 260
  • Fat (g): 29
  • Saturated Fat (g): 11
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 14
  • Cholesterol (mg): 50
  • Sodium (mg): 900
  • Carbohydrates (g): 71
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 18


  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta for 1 minute less than package directions for al dente.
  • Meanwhile, pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and use your hands to break them up.
  • Heat the oil and garlic in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Discard the garlic.
  • Add the tomatoes (and their juice) and the red pepper flakes to the garlic oil; raise the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the vodka and cook for about 2 minutes to mellow the alcohol. Stir in the heavy cream and 1-1/2 tsp. salt.
  • Drain the pasta and add to the skillet. Toss over medium heat until the pasta has absorbed some of the sauce, about 3 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the cheese and parsley.


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Reviews (4 reviews)

  • runner64 | 05/15/2017

    A real favorite at my house. Use a spatter screen if you have one!

  • grlup | 01/23/2017

    Very good. Quick and easy. I agree with the previous reviewers about the oil splatter. Fortunately I had the benefit of their experience and placed the pan in the sink when adding the tomatoes. It still splattered but was contained. Otherwise this is tasty and quick and easy. I added some roasted broccoli which was perfect.

  • Bquart | 08/04/2015

    I was literally about to write the same review as the one already here- in fact I wish I read that first instead of making it straight from the magazine!! The oil splatter (when adding tomatoes) made a huge mess and I was upset but the results were very good and my parents were big fans of the end result! Would definitely repeat...but cautiously at that step!

  • blancb | 05/10/2015

    This recipe was quick, easy and tasted great for a meatless middle of the week dinner. I made it exactly as written and had enough left for a couple of lunches during the week. One note of caution - be careful adding the tomatoes to the oil as it will splatter everywhere. It may be best to let the oil cool a bit first before completing this step. My wife said to add it to our "favorites" list.

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