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Penne alla Vodka


  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup high-quality vodka
  • 1 can (28 oz) San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (for garnish)


  1. Cook the penne in salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving about a cup of pasta water.
  2. In a large skillet, sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, Italian seasoning, basil, black pepper, and a pinch of salt. Cook for an additional minute.
  4. Pour in the vodka and let it simmer to cook off the alcohol.
  5. Add crushed San Marzano tomatoes. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the heavy cream or coconut milk, and heat through. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  7. Add the cooked penne to the sauce, tossing to coat. If too thick, add reserved pasta water to reach desired consistency.
  8. Serve hot, topped with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and chiffonade basil leaves.
Penne alla Vodka
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