Penne alla vodka

Got a little vodka hanging round in the drinks cupboard? Catherine Fulvio has a great way to use it
By Catherine Fulvio
Penne alla vodka
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 3-4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 300 g penne
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 red chillies, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 3 tbsp vodka
  • 75 g parmesan

Tips and Suggestions

Make sure you lift the pan off the heat when adding the vodka. It can go straight back on the flame afterwards.

The ridged edges of the penne will pick up the sauce beautifully.


1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan big enough to hold the cooked pasta. Add the chilli and sauté for 1-2 minutes.

3. Stir in the tomato purée and 4 tbsp of water. Simmer over low heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking and burning. If necessary, add a little more water.

4. Stir the cream into the tomato mixture, bring to the boil then pour in the vodka and simmer for about 3 minutes more.

5. Drain the pasta and transfer it to the pan of sauce. Add the parmesan cheese, mix thoroughly, and adjust the seasoning to taste, using plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to a warm bowl to serve.

Rate This Recipe