Pasta alla Vodka

Pasta alla vodka is one of our family staples. I also make it pretty often (once a month at least?) because it’s super easy to whip up (think less than 30 minutes) and requires ingredients I usually have in my pantry and garden. The hubs and E both love it and you always feel very satisfied after eating a huge plate of it.

This is my recipe for it and it’s partially based on Pioneer Woman’s recipe, but has a lot less cream. It’s also pretty flexible – if you like more/less garlic or cream, go for it. However, do not skimp on the butter (you can always add more if you like but not less than the suggested amount). The butter is pretty important to this recipe. I have made it in the past without and the sauce doesn’t come out right.

Pasta Alla Vodka

(adapted from here)


  • 1 jar (24oz) of tomato pasta sauce
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive/vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup vodka (I usually use at least 1 cup)
  • 1 lb pasta of choice (we like linguine or penne)
  • Large handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook pasta according to directions. You want the pasta to be al dente, so be careful not to overcook it.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the butter and oil.
  3. When the butter has melted, add in the onions, red pepper flakes and bay leaf and fry for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add in the garlic and fry for another minute.
  5. Add in the vodka and cook till most of the vodka has reduced. About 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Add in the tomato pasta sauce. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer sauce uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Add in the cream and stir over low heat.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Add in the pasta and toss in sauce.
  10. Garnish with freshly chopped basil and serve immediately.

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