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Close up photo of penne in vodka sauce in a skillet.
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5 from 1 vote

Vodka Sauce

Penne Vodka Sauce takes the best flavors from cream and tomato sauce and blends them together! Made with heavy cream, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, herbs, and spices, it’s comforting and delicious.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 694kcal



  • Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than cooking time indicated on the package, drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or deep skillet over medium heat. Add minced shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook until softened, stirring constantly so as not to burn. Add in the tomato paste until it starts to caramelize, stirring constantly, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Deglaze the pan with the vodka and scrape all the dark bits off the bottom of the pan.
  • Add in the crushed tomatoes and simmer until reduced, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add in heavy cream, ½ cup of parmesan cheese, butter, and salt and stir until the cheese has melted, simmer over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Remove the sauce from heat and add the pasta to the sauce, stirring so all pasta is evenly coated. Serve with parmesan cheese and basil.


  • The sauce is good for 4 to 5 days when stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
  • Best to use a short pasta with ridges such as Cavatappi, penne, or rigatoni. 
  • Whole canned tomatoes may also be used but you'll want to run them through a food processor before adding or use an immersion blender once added to the pan.


Calories: 694kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 1013mg | Potassium: 905mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1613IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 247mg | Iron: 4mg