Penne with Vodka Sauce

Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
35 mins

This version of the popular vodka-sauce pasta dish comes from Meg Oliver of Providence, Rhode Island.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced

  • Pinch of red-pepper flakes

  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, with juice

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • cup vodka

  • Coarse salt

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • 1 pound penne or other short tubular pasta

  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and their juice, breaking tomatoes up with a wooden spoon.

  2. Stir in tomato paste, sugar, vodka, and 3/4 cup water; season with salt. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in cream; cook just until heated through (do not boil).

  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large (5-quart) pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, and return to pot.

  4. Add sauce to pasta, and toss to combine. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan.


Cook's Notes

Before you start preparing the ingredients, set a pot of water to boil over high heat. This way, the pasta will end up cooking while the sauce simmers.

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