Penne a la Vodka
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • ¾ cup vodka
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 16-ounces (1 box) pasta, such as penne rigate or any curly type of pasta
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • fresh basil, shredded or torn
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Prep all your ingredients, measure out your vodka, chicken stock and heavy cream. Mince the garlic cloves and the shallot.
  2. Add the oil, butter, garlic, and shallots to a medium-sized skillet set over medium heat.
  3. Gently sauté the garlic and shallots for about 3 to 5 minutes, (or until they start feeling soft) to develop the shallot's sweetness.
  4. Add your ¾ cup vodka to the pan.
  5. Reduce the vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes or longer. Note: The first time I made this sauce I went by the time estimate and did not really check to make sure the vodka was reduced. Well, you can guess, my sauce tasted like vodka and I had to throw it away. So please make sure you reduce it by half.
  6. TIP: To make sure the vodka is reduced by half other than looking at it, just smell it and if you smell vodka, then it needs to be reduced a bit more. You want to smell the shallots, garlic and butter, not the vodka.
  7. Once the vodka is reduced, add in the 1 cup chicken stock and the can of tomatoes.
  8. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Simmer the sauce for about 10-15 minutes to thicken it up a bit.
  10. While the sauce simmers, cook your pasta in the salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). Drain pasta and then return pasta to pot.
  11. After the sauce simmers and the pasta is finished cooking, stir the ½ cup cream.
  12. Let the sauce return to a boil and then immediately remove it from heat.
  13. Add your sauce to the pasta and toss to coat.
  14. Serve up a heaping amount of pasta into each bowl.
  15. Add your fresh basil and Parmesan and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: serves 4-6
Recipe by Marin Mama Cooks at