Penne with Spicy Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce Recipe -
Penne with Spicy Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce Recipe
91 Photos
Penne with Spicy Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce
See how to make a classic vodka and tomato cream sauce with a kick. See more
  • READY IN 25 mins

Penne with Spicy Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce

Recipe by  

"A nice change from your typical tomato sauce! If you're worried about the alcohol, don't be! It cooks off and cannot be tasted. It simply helps to enhance the flavors."

+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    15 mins

    25 mins


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. In large skillet, heat oil over moderate heat. Remove casing from sausage and add to skillet. Cook, breaking up the meat, until brown. Add garlic and red pepper and cook, stirring until garlic is golden brown.
  3. Add tomatoes and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. Add vodka and cream and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and add pasta, toss for 1 minute. Stir in fresh parsley and serve!
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jul 09, 2003

I think a good start to any a la vodka sauce is the pancetta. I started this recipe by browning 6 slices of pancetta without any oil and adding the sausage to the drippings, then launched into everything else. I also upped the vodka quantity to 1/4 of a cup and upped the heavy cream to 3/4 of a cup. I completely omitted the salt. I used Contadina crushed tomatos with roasted garlic. The meal was definitely "restaurant quality"

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jul 30, 2007

In spite of the good reviews this recipe gets, neither DH nor I was a big fan. Maybe we just don't like vodka sauce. Had only had it once before (the jarred stuff from Trader Joe's), but still wasn't that enthralled with it from scratch. I halved the amount of EVOO; used spicy Italian sausage, so halved the red pepper flakes; also halved the salt based on other reviewers' comments, and halved the amount of pasta for just two of us (still had leftovers). Used fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, and threw in a bit of prosciutto with the sausage for some additional flavor. Served with shredded parmesan and whole wheat sourdough rolls. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Star!

Aug 20, 2007

This recipe is top-notch and would rival any Penne a la Vodka that you'd order in an Italian restaurant. I prepared it almost to the letter, and it was perfect. I have also tried this a different way by making it a lowfat dish. I substituted turkey sausage, and instead of heavy cream, I used half and half blended with 1 tsp. of corn starch. It was a fantastic lower fat variation and tasted just as good as the original.

Jan 15, 2006

I changed this recipe. 3 tablespoons of white wine instead of vodka, added spinach, tomato sauce and extra red pepper flakes, simmered the sauce 30 minutes and melted parmesean and feta cheese. made for a large group. got rave reviews, tasted just like penne rosa from noodles and company!

May 19, 2008

I frequently do a sausage pasta with a fresh sauce but never occurred to me to do a vodka cream version. Great! My only alteration is in the pasta choice. Pardon, but I am a particular snob in this area. For a sauce like this one with roll-away chunks, a more appropriate pasta choice is one that snuggles the sauce - in this case I go for an egg noodle or at least the widest fettuccine you can find. Tubed pasta work better on thinner sauces that need a little traveling compartment.

Aug 29, 2002

This was good although I have had better sauces but I must say I liked the addition of the sausage. It actually tasted better the next day. I would make it again. The ony thing is I reduced the oil and the salt I felt the amounts given were high.

Dec 16, 2003

All the signs of greatness: Tastes really good, is fast and easy, and also pretty darn inexpensive! I went a little easy on the crushed red pepper (it was still nice and spicy), and topped each serving with a little shredded fresh Romano. SERIOUS YUM, especially with a glass of red wine...

Dec 10, 2009

I browned the sausage separately and then added it to the sauce. For the sauce I sauteed some onion, used 1/4 c. of vodka, 1 c. of whipping cream, and added some fresh basil. Overall, I think the sauce is better without the sausage.


Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:


  • Calories
  • 435 kcal
  • 22%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 52.7 g
  • 17%
  • Cholesterol
  • 29 mg
  • 10%
  • Fat
  • 18.4 g
  • 28%
  • Fiber
  • 4.6 g
  • 18%
  • Protein
  • 13.3 g
  • 27%
  • Sodium
  • 544 mg
  • 22%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More
Subscribe Today!

In Season

Not The Same Old Chicken
Not The Same Old Chicken

We have so many top-rated chicken recipes, you'll never run out of dinner ideas again.

Slow Cooker Time Savers
Slow Cooker Time Savers

Imagine dinner making itself in the slow cooker while you relax or do other things.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

Related Videos

Penne with Spicy Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce

See how to make a classic vodka and tomato cream sauce with a kick.

Penne and Vodka Sauce

A tomato and cream sauce flavored with sweet, salty pancetta.

Lamb Meatballs in Spicy Eggplant Tomato Sauce

See how to make mini lamb balls in a spicy tomato and eggplant sauce.

Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States