Penne alla Vodka

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Indulge in the rich and comforting flavors of Penne alla Vodka, a classic Italian-American favorite.

This 30-minute dinner masterpiece combines al dente penne pasta with a velvety tomato-vodka cream sauce, creating a harmonious blend of savory and slightly spicy notes.

Treat yourself to the ultimate comfort food with a steaming plate of Penne Vodka.

Perfect for a budget-friendly weeknight dinner, this creamy pasta dish is sure to become an instant family favorite.

Creamy and comforting Penne alla Vodka, garnished with fresh basil and parmesan.

Why you’ll love this penne alla vodka

Why should you give this Italian-American recipe a go? Well, let’s break it down:

  • Date Night Dinner Magic: Picture this – you’ve got a special date night coming up. Bam! This recipe slides in as your culinary wingman, impressing with its deliciousness and adding a touch of sophistication to your evening.
  • Cozy Family Dinner Feels: Craving a heartwarming family dinner? Absolutely! This dish brings that cozy, feel-good vibe to the table, making it a surefire hit with your loved ones.
  • Busy Weeknight Wonder: Ah, those whirlwind weeknights when you’re a superhero juggling tasks. Guess what? This recipe steps up as your hero too. Quick, tasty, and satisfying – it’s the answer to your weekday dinner dilemma.

And here’s the best part – this Penne with creamy Vodka sauce is as easy to make as it is delightful to devour. With simple steps and everyday ingredients, you’ll have a restaurant-worthy dish ready in a flash.

So, whether it’s a fancy occasion, a gathering of your nearest and dearest, or just an ordinary Tuesday evening, Penne Vodka recipe has your back.

Close-up of Penne alla Vodka, beautifully adorned with fresh basil and a generous sprinkle of parmesan.

Ingredients for Penne alla Vodka Recipe

(See the recipe card below for full ingredient list with quantities & instructions)

  • Penne pasta
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Vodka
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Oregano
  • Heavy cream
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh basil
Budget-friendly and easy to prepare Penne Vodka, garnished with chopped basil and parmesan cheese.

How to make penne alla vodka

Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your delicious Penne alla Vodka dinner

Cook the Penne Pasta:

– Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

– Add the penne pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente.

– Drain the pasta and set it aside.

Cook the Aromatics:

– In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

– Add the minced onion and sauté for about 3-4 minutes until translucent.

– Stir in the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, sautéing for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Make the Vodka Sauce :

– Pour in the vodka and allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes, reducing slightly.

– Add the crushed tomatoes and chopped fresh oregano to the skillet.

– Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

– Let the sauce simmer over medium-low heat for 7-10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.

Creamy Indulgence:

– Reduce the heat to low and pour in the heavy cream, stirring constantly.

– Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until the sauce thickens.

– Stir in the finely shredded parmesan cheese, allowing it to melt into the sauce.

– Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Bringing it All Together:

– Add the cooked penne pasta to the skillet, tossing it gently in the creamy vodka sauce until well coated.

– Stir in the chopped fresh basil, reserving some for garnish.

Serve and Enjoy:

– Divide the Penne alla Vodka among plates.

– Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese and basil before serving.

Close-up of creamy vodka sauce coating penne pasta.

Ah, let’s talk about that vodka sauce

The heart and soul of this Penne alla Vodka recipe!

The vodka sauce – the superstar of this Penne alla Vodka recipe.

Imagine this: smooth tomatoes teaming up with a splash of vodka. It’s like a flavor party that makes your taste buds groove.

This saucy goodness wraps around the penne like a cozy blanket, with a little kick from red pepper flakes that keeps things exciting.

Creaminess from the heavy cream? Oh yeah, it’s there to make sure every bite is pure comfort.

When you dive in, it’s a delicious dance your mouth won’t forget.

Seriously, this vodka sauce is the real deal!

Overhead shot of Penne alla Vodka garnished with fresh parmesan.

Creative Variations on The Classic Penne alla Vodka

Go ahead and get creative with these penne vodka variations to match your personal taste and dietary requirements.

Have fun exploring the world of Pasta Recipes with Penne alla Vodka and its delightful spin-offs!

  • Penne alla Vodka with Chicken: Add cooked and diced chicken breast to the dish for a protein-packed version. Sauté the chicken with a bit of garlic and oregano for extra flavor.
  • Vegetarian Penne alla Vodka: Skip the meat and focus on sautéed vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms. Their natural flavors complement the creamy sauce beautifully.
  • Penne alla Vodka with Spinach: Toss in a handful of fresh spinach leaves during the last few minutes of cooking for added color, nutrients, and a hint of earthy goodness.
  • Gluten-Free Penne alla Vodka: Opt for gluten-free penne pasta and ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free certified for a delicious alternative suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.
Side view shot of Penne alla Vodka garnished with fresh parmesan.

Looking for more quick Italian-American recipes?

Overhead shot of Penne alla Vodka garnished with fresh parmesan.
Yield: 6 servings

The Best Penne alla Vodka Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Indulge in our easy and budget-friendly Penne alla Vodka recipe. This classic Italian-American dish features penne pasta tossed in a creamy, rich vodka sauce with a hint of spice from red pepper flakes.

Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a special occasion, it's a comfort food delight that's sure to become a favorite.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. penne pasta
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced yellow onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the penne pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced onion and cook until it becomes translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet, and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  4. Carefully pour in the vodka and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, allowing the alcohol to cook off and the flavors to meld.
  5. Add the crushed tomatoes and chopped oregano to the skillet. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Allow the sauce to simmer over medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to develop.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and slowly pour in the heavy cream, stirring constantly to incorporate it into the sauce. Continue to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, allowing the cream to thicken the sauce.
  7. Once the sauce has thickened, add the finely shredded parmesan cheese to the skillet. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
  8. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed, adding more salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes to your preference.
  9. Add the cooked penne pasta to the skillet, tossing it in the creamy vodka sauce until well coated.
  10. Stir in the chopped fresh basil, reserving a little for garnish.
  11. Serve the Penne alla Vodka in individual bowls, garnished with additional chopped basil and grated parmesan cheese. Side view shot of Penne alla Vodka garnished with fresh parmesan.

Notes

Storing and Reheating Tips:

Storing:

  • Let the Penne alla Vodka cool before storing in an airtight container.
  • Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.

Reheating:

  • Reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat with a splash of liquid.
  • Or use the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between.
  • Revive sauce consistency with a touch of cream or tomato sauce.
  • Sprinkle with fresh parmesan, herbs, or olive oil before serving to refresh flavors.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 327Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 32mgSodium 156mgCarbohydrates 29gFiber 3gSugar 3gProtein 7g

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