This Penne alla Vodka is a classic Italian comfort food favorite. It’s rich and creamy and made with simple ingredients. It’s an indulgent pasta dish the whole family will LOVE!
Delicious Easy Penne alla Vodka
I’ve been making this Penne alla Vodka for years folks. It’s from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, my favorite, and it’s super easy, super flavorful and always a crowd pleaser!
When I want to treat friends to a homemade dinner delivered straight to their door, this fresh from scratch vodka sauce is always one of my top choices. I just pack up a basket with the homemade sauce, a box of penne pasta, a nice, crusty loaf of Italian bread, a salad and a bottle of wine.
When making the sauce, you’ll need to take into account that you’ll be roasting the tomato mixture in the oven for an hour and fifteen minutes, but otherwise, this takes no time and minimal effort to pull togther.
Roasting the tomatoes brings out their sweetness and intensifies the flavor of the sauce.
The pasta can be served as your main dish or as a side. We especially enjoyed it the other night with Tom’s mother’s Classic Easy Meat Loaf.
If you serve it as your main, it’s perfect with a Caesar salad, garlic bread and some wine. It goes wonderfully with Sauvignon Blanc for white wine lovers or a Cabernet if you’re a red wine fan.
Penne alla Vodka Ingredients
A Few Cook’s Notes for Penne alla Vodka Recipe:
Ina adds about 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to her sauce, but you can add less if you like things less spicy. I add 1/4 teaspoon.
I use San Marzano whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained for my vodka sauce.
You can use your favorite vodka for this recipe. I use Tito’s.
Hope you guys give this easy pasta recipe a try. It’s a delicious family dinner and perfect for weekend company too. Enjoy!
More Italian Recipes to Enjoy
This Penne Alla Vodka is a classic Italian comfort food favorite. It's rich and creamy and made with simple ingredients. It's an indulgent pasta dish the whole family will LOVE!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 cup vodka
- 2 28-oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 lb. penne pasta
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus some extra for serving
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat oil in a medium Dutch oven, over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5-7 minutes, Add the garlic, oregano and red pepper and continue to cook for one minute. Add the vodka and simmer until reduced by half, about 7 minutes. With your clean hands, add the drained tomatoes, crushing each with your hands. Add one teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Mix well, cover the pot with a lid and bake for one hour and fifteen minutes.
While tomatoes are cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Remove tomatoes from oven and carefully add to a blender. Do not overfill. Puree until smooth. Return mixture to pot. Add the cream, additional teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, partially covered for an additional 8-10 minutes. Add the pasta and cook 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan. Serve with additional Parmesan, if desired.
Recipe adapted from the Barefoot Contessa