In My Kitchen: Cheesy Pasta alla Vodka

I may not like drinking vodka, but adding vodka to sauces is always a win. The vodka lends a totally distinct and unique flavor to creamy tomato sauce.

You’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 16 oz pasta (I used ziti)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of heavy salted pasta to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water, then set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt oil and butter. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook an additional 1 minute.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Then reduce heat to low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. When cooked, transfer sauce to a food processor. Add cream and vodka. Make sure that the hot sauce can vent through the food processor lid, then blend until completely smooth.
  6. Return sauce to pot and bring to a boil to cook off the vodka. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer.
  7. Add pasta and shredded mozzarella to the cooked sauce. Stir to combine, adding reserved pasta water as needed to thin out the sauce (optional). Adjust salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Source: Adapted from a recipe by What’s Gaby Cooking

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