Penne with Spicy Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce Recipe Reviews - Allrecipes.com (Pg. 1)
Reviewed: Nov. 11, 2002
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"
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Reviewed: Dec. 5, 2006
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.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
Living In: Fresno, California, USA

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Reviewed: 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!
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Coon Rapids, Minnesota, USA
Living In: Dayton, Minnesota, USA

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Reviewed: 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.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Living In: Austin, Texas, USA

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Reviewed: Jun. 28, 2000
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.
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Reviewed: May 4, 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...
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Photo by LISAKP71

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Lakeside, California, USA
Living In: Arlington, Texas, USA
Reviewed: 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.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Living In: Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA
Photo by Metta Karuna
Reviewed: Aug. 13, 2007
My family loved this. I thought it was very similar to Bowties w/Sausage, Tomatoes & Cream (also on this site) and may consider using that recipe as my base vodka sauce. I followed the directions pretty accurately with only a few minor changes. I put literally a drop of EVOO into the pan and browned my sausage whole. I think 2 links crumbled as written would have been lost in the sauce. I drained the oil and fat from the pan reserving about 1-1/2 Tbsp. in the pan for flavor. I cut down to 1/2 the amount of red pepper to make it more kid-friendly. I also cut back dramatically on the parsley. As I was chopping it I realized that it was a lot so I sprinkled it little by little until I got the flavor I wanted. I ended up using a little over a tbsp I would guess. My only other change was to use a little over a half pound of a variety of pastas.(finished up the boxes) I served it with grated parm and think that next time I may add it to the sauce during cooking for a much better flavor. The flavor of the dish was good but I definitely recommend increasing the vodka A LOT! You could barely taste it. Also I think I prefer my vodka sauce a bit more creamier than tomato-ey so next time I will definitely add more cream to the dish as well. Overall this was a very delicious dish and was loved by my whole family. My 22 month old went back for thirds!! It does make a lot of sauce so be prepared for extra...perfect for dipping garlic bread into. Thank you Star!
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Photo by Metta Karuna

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey, USA
Living In: Florham Park, New Jersey, USA
Reviewed: Apr. 8, 2002
This was wonderful and so quick and easy!! I did drain the sausage and also added the cream after bringing the vodka to a boil (wasn't sure about cream boiling and curdling). I only had hot italian sausage on hand, and it was great - next time I'll try the sweet! This was very similiar to 'Rigatoni ala vodka' my husband and I used to order at a local restaurant - also good with the addition of chicken breast cooked in the sausage grease (sounds weird but tastes great). Thanks for the recipe!!
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Reviewed: 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!
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

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