Get the Recipe: Penne Alla Vodka


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 32 ounce jar tomato sauce, Rao’s or Victoria or 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup vodka
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • cup fresh basil, minced
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish


  • Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Meanwhile, heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the sliced garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Add tomato sauce and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Add vodka. Bring sauce to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until thickened, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in oregano and cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste; cover and keep warm.
  • Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve ¼ cup cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to pot. Toss sauce and basil with pasta, adding reserved pasta water as needed. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.