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Vodka Sauce

Vodka Sauce

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Over the past few months I’ve received a few requests for my Vodka Sauce recipe.
Ask and you shall receive ….
here is what I think to be a rather quick and easy version of the sauce that many of us enjoy at our favorite Italian restaurant.  

Penne alla Vodka

My vodka sauce is made with very basic and simple ingredients: San Marzano tomatoes, shallots, garlic, butter, olive oil, a few cups of  (basic) tomato sauce, heavy cream, grated cheese and Prosciutto. I generally use Cento San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes for this sauce.  Oh and Vodka of course! And yes the alcohol DOES evaporate during the cooking process so no worries there. It’s the vodka that gives this his sauce it’s unique and distinct flavor.

Penne Vodka also happens to be one of my favorite go to dishes when I am hosting birthdays and other celebrations.  I basically double the recipe below and serve it with a few pounds of penne pasta.  It’s always a crowd pleaser when it’s on the menu and I find it to be economical as well. I generally make this sauce in a large saute pan. My favorite pan for this is the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Saute Pan

Vodka Sauce

Traditionally vodka sauce has a creamier consistency, but I like the addition of using hand crushed San marzano tomatoes to my sauce for a bit more texture and flavor.  It’s not a chunky sauce, but there’s a few bits of tomato and prosciutto here and there. You can definitely puree the tomatoes if you would like a smoother sauce.

I hope you like my recipe for vodka sauce.  It can be the perfect sauce with some weeknight penne, as well as your next large gathering.  Enjoy!

Ay-oh, what are ya’ waiting for … let’s get cooking!

Vodka Sauce

Cuisine Italian


  • 1 28 oz can of san marzano tomatoes crushed with your hands
  • 2 cups of basic tomato sauce
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 small shallot finely diced
  • 1 clove garliccrushed
  • 2-3 slices of prosciutto di parma julienned into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup vodka optional
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of shredded Parmesan/Romano cheese
  • Chopped Parsley for garnish
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste


  • Saute shallots, garlic, and prosciutto in 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil. Cook until translucent in color. Carefully add the vodka and simmer for a few minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and the sauce and bring to a quick simmer. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Now add the cream and cook down until thickened, about 10-12 minutes on medium heat. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Serve with your favorite pasta and a good amount of grated cheese. Garnish with chopped parsley.


Tip: if sauce is too liquidy then add some of the grated cheese to it and this will thicken it up.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
 Questions and requests are always welcome!


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This posts content or pictures were updated or changed on December 17, 2018. 

Recipe Rating

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Wednesday 21st of December 2022

Will this recipe cover 2 lbs of pasta or should I double it? Thanks

Tina DiLeo

Thursday 22nd of December 2022

Hi! I would double it. I don't think you'll need the whole amount but the pasta really absorbs the sauce.


Sunday 28th of October 2018

I used this vodka sauce recipe in a pinch for a school dinner event. So easy to make and the kids loved it! Will definitely use as my new go to vodka sauce! Delicious.

Tina DiLeo

Sunday 28th of October 2018

Thanks Fran, I am so glad to hear that it was a success!

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