This is an impressive penne dish that’s super delicious with the silkiest tomato cream sauce that you can make in under twenty minutes! It’s the perfect busy weeknights meal paired with a simple side salad.


1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

8 oz. uncooked penne pasta

1 clove garlic minced

1/2 small onion chopped finely

1/4 c. vodka

3/4 c. heavy/whipping cream

1/4 c. tomato paste

Fresh basil, sliced thin optional, to taste

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese optional, to taste

Salt & pepper to taste

How to make The Best Penne Alla Vodka

Step 1: Following the package directions, cook the penne in a generously salted pot of water until al dente.

Step 2: Heat the oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and the butter has melted, add the onion to the skillet and saute for about 5 to 7 minutes or until sot. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Now, pour in the vodka and simmer for about 30 seconds or so before taking the pan off the heat. Then, stir in the potato paste until the mixture is smooth.

Step 3: Place the pan back to the heat, then stir in the cream, adjusting the heat to medium-low. Allow the sauce to warm through. You can simmer the sauce a bit longer if you prefer a thicker sauce.

Step 4: As needed, season the dish with salt and pepper. At this point, you can stir in the fresh basil if using. Add the cooked and drained pasta and toss to coat. You can thin out the sauce by adding a splash of pasta water. Finally, serve this Penne Alla Vodka with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!


I won’t recommend substituting the heavy cream with something like milk or half-and-half. The reason is the sauce is likely to get grainy or curdle and it will not be as thick or delicious.

This recipe serves 4 people. If feeding a crowd, I suggest doubling the recipe. The dish is quite rich so serve this with a simple side salad.


Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 346mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4 | Vitamin A: 1081IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg