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  • Writer's pictureJessica Larit

Penne a la Vodka!!

What can I say...I LOVE penne a la vodka. It is one of my favorite pasta dishes and have been making it for years. I make it a little different from the traditional recipes. I add a lot less cream. I find that you can still get the desired taste and texture using less cream and adding a little more pasta water. Plus, it is a lot healthier then using a cup of heavy cream! I also like to add in a little pesto in to give it more flavor.

This is a great weeknight meal because the sauce will cook while the pasta water is boiling. The whole meal can be ready in 15 minutes! I love to serve this pasta with a big side salad and some cheesy garlic bread. Also, this recipe is loved by my kids. Bonus! :-)

Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes


-Penne (1 box)

-2 tablespoons olive oil

-1/4 small onion (chopped)

-1/2 teaspoon dried basil

-3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

-4 large cloves of garlic

-3 tablespoons tomato paste

-3 tablespoons vodka

-15 oz can of San Marzano Crushed Tomatoes

-2 tablespoons pesto (homemade or store bought)

-1/2 teaspoon pepper

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

-3 tablespoons heavy cream

-3 tablespoons butter (salted)

-3/4 cup grated parmesan (divided)

-2 heaping tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Next Step:

-Put a large pot of water on to boil. Once boiling add salt to your water.

-Add penne and cook to al dente.

-In a large sauce pan, turn the heat to low and add the olive oil.

-Then add the onions and sauté for 1 minute.

-Add the basil, oregano, and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Watch carefully so the garlic doesn't burn.

-Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the onions and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute.

-Add the vodka, mix, and let simmer for 2 minutes.

-Add the crushed tomatoes, pesto, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir.

-Once bubbling (on low/simmer), add the butter and heavy cream. Stir.

-Let simmer until your pasta is done.

-Before you drain the pasta, add 1/2 cup of pasta water to your sauce. Reserve another 1/2 cup to use if needed.

-Drain the pasta and immediately add to your saucepan. Mix well to coat all of the pasta.

-Add 1/3 cup shredded parmesan and the chopped fresh basil and mix.

-Serve and ENJOY!!!

*For additional recipes please follow me on Instagram @a.sprinkle.of.sweet

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