The Cozy Cook

Book cover graphicThe Cozy Cookbook is here! Order Now!

Penne Alla Vodka

This classic Penne Alla Vodka recipe is easy to make with simple ingredients and the most flavorful vodka infused tomato sauce. Prosciutto, tomato paste, simple seasonings, flavor enhancers, and cream take this over the top!

A bowl of Penne Alla Vodka with parsley on top.

 

Penne Alla Vodka

This Penne Alla Vodka recipe is something that I have been spending years perfecting. It’s my husband’s all-time favorite dish, and I can confidently give it the restaurant quality stamp of approval!

Prosciutto which sets the tone for optimum results by infusing flavor onto the skillet and into the sauce. It’s then deglazed with vodka which is reduced down to serve its purpose of enhancing the other flavors in the dish.

We then create a delicious tomato base which is accompanied by my favorite seasonings, flavor enhancers, and cream which counteracts the acidity of the tomatoes nicely. And finally, the penne and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Have I convinced you yet? 😉

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Sauté prosciutto in a skillet with olive oil until crisp. Set aside and roughly chop. Deglaze skillet with vodka and reduce by half. Add butter and garlic.

Prosciutto in a skillet next to a skillet with butter and garlic.

Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, chicken bouillon, honey, hot sauce, seasonings, cooked prosciutto, and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer while you cook the pasta for 1 minute less than al dente. (Reserve some pasta water when draining.)

Adding seasonings and crushed tomatoes to vodka sauce.

 Add the cream and stir until combined.

Adding cream to vodka sauce in a skillet.

Add the cooked penne and stir to combine. Add pasta water as needed to control the consistency. It will allow the pasta to cling to the sauce and adds a smooth finish.

Optional: Remove from heat and swirl in 1 tablespoon of cold butter prior to serving. This adds a sparkly finish and is a technique called “monte au beurre”. 

Adding penne to vodka sauce to make Penne Alla Vodka.

Pro Tips

  • Prosciutto: This is a great way to add “fond” to the skillet which is deglazed with vodka for superior flavor. Pancetta makes a good substitute. You could also try a little ham or bacon.
  • Penne: I use Penne Lisce for this recipe simply because I like the way it looks without ridges for this recipe. Penne Rigate can be used as well, which has ridges to help grip the sauce.
  • Tomato Paste: I use tomato paste tubes to measure smaller amounts, you can store the tubes in the fridge for zero waste!
  • Grate the cheese from a block as it will taste much better than packaged grated cheese. I use Belgioioso Parmesan cheese.
  • Hot Sauce and Honey are flavor enhancers in this sauce that you can’t taste outright. I use Frank’s hot sauce and it won’t make it spicy.
  • Optional additions include: Diced tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, and spinach!
  • Baked Meatballs and Garlic Bread with Cheese are a great side dish with this dish.
  • Meatless: To make this meatless, omit the prosciutto and use vegetable broth/bouillon instead of chicken.

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Leftovers freeze/reheat well, just be sure not to overcook the pasta the first time around.
  • For even better results, freeze the sauce by itself and boil fresh pasta for serving.

Penne Alla Vodka in a White Bowl with a spoon on the side.

 

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

Try These Next

Get My Free Meal Plan

I’ve got a Free Meal Plan with 7 of my super popular recipes (complete with grocery list)! Sign up for my email list and I’ll send it over now along with weekly dinner recipes!

And follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest!

Tried This Recipe?

Leave a review, I love hearing your feedback! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A white bowl of Penne Alla Vodka with parsley on top.

Penne Alla Vodka

4.95 from 18 ratings
This classic Penne Alla Vodka recipe is easy to make with simple ingredients and the most flavorful vodka infused tomato sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ lb. Prosciutto, roughly chopped
  • ¾ cup vodka
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb. penne
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated. For serving

Seasonings

  • ¾ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

For Serving

  • 1 tablespoon cold butter

Instructions

Prep Work

  • Measure out all ingredients before beginning.
  • Take a measuring cup (1 cup or larger) and place it in the colander that you’ll use to drain your pasta, this will remind you to save some of the pasta water when that step arrives.

Make the Sauce/Pasta

  • Heat olive oil over medium heat and add the prosciutto. Cook until it begins to brown, 2-3 minutes, then set aside and roughly chop once cooled.
  • Turn the heat off and add the vodka. Set the heat to medium and use a silicone spatula to clean the bottom and sides of the skillet (there may not be a ton of remnants from the meat, that’s okay)! Let it bubble gently and reduce by half, about 4-5 minutes (or until you can no longer smell alcohol).
  • Add the butter and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, chicken bouillon, honey, hot sauce, seasonings, and cooked prosciutto. Stir to combine.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let it bubble gently and reduce, partially covered while you start to boil salted water for the pasta.
  • Once a boil is reached, cook the penne for 1 minute less than al dente. Drain and reserve some of the pasta water.
  • Reduce heat to low. Stir the cream into the sauce until combined, then add the cooked penne and stir to combine.
  • Add pasta water as needed to control the consistency. It will add a creamy finish and help the pasta cling onto the sauce.
  • Remove from heat and swirl in 1 tablespoon of cold butter prior to serving. (This is optional, it adds a smooth, sparkly finish.)
  • Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese!

Notes

Pro Tips:
  • Prosciutto: This is a great way to add "fond" to the skillet which is deglazed with vodka for superior flavor. Pancetta makes a good substitute. You could also try a little ham or bacon.
  • Penne: I use Penne Lisce for this recipe simply because I like the way it looks without ridges for this recipe. Penne Rigate can be used as well, which has ridges to help grip the sauce.
  • Tomato Paste: I use tomato paste tubes to measure smaller amounts, you can store the tubes in the fridge for zero waste!
  • Grate the cheese from a block as it will taste much better than packaged grated cheese. I use Belgioioso Parmesan cheese.
  • Hot Sauce and Honey are flavor enhancers in this sauce that you can't taste outright. I use Frank's hot sauce and it won't make it spicy.
  • Optional additions include: Diced tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, and spinach!
  • Baked Meatballs and Garlic Bread with Cheese are a great side dish with this dish.
  • Meatless: To make this meatless, omit the prosciutto and use vegetable broth/bouillon instead of chicken.

Storage:
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Leftovers freeze/reheat well, just be sure not to overcook the pasta the first time around.
  • For even better results, freeze the sauce by itself and boil fresh pasta for serving.

The nutritional information provided is an estimate and is per serving. There are 6 servings in this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 665kcal, Carbohydrates: 71g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 74mg, Sodium: 653mg, Potassium: 709mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 1145IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 166mg, Iron: 3mg
Did you try this recipe?Mention @TheCozyCook on Instagram or tag #thecozycook!
This Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken is loaded with perfectly seared chicken, chunky tomatoes, and a creamy marinara vodka sauce. It's topped with Parmesan Shavings and fresh parsley and is a classic family favorite! | The Cozy Cook | #penne #vodkasauce #pasta #comfortfood #dinner

Order The Cozy Cookbook!

Easy Recipes. Extra Comfort.

Order your copy today!

Leave a Comment & Rate this Recipe

Your email address will not be published.

Click the Stars to Rate This Recipe




57 comments on “Penne Alla Vodka”

  1. how much chicken would you recommend getting for a 4 serving recipe?

  2. Which vodka would you recommend for this recipe? It’s my first time making a sauce like this. Thank you in advance!

  3. Hi! I was wonder if this is 711 kcals per serving or in total! Please let me know

  4. Wanted to make this today but have a couple questions; during the last 12 min while pasta is cooking is that when you add the cream and red pepper flakes? Then after pasta is drained add the water and butter? Thanks so much. 

    • Hi Tammy! Step 10 is where you’ll add in the pasta, after you’ve added all ingredients to the sauce first. I can see how it’s confusing. I’ll try to make it clearer! 🙌🏻

  5. How many people does this feed?

  6. How long does it need to cook if I double the recipe 

  7. This is the best penne alla vodka recipe I’ve ever made! It’s my husband’s favorite recipe to order at Italian restaurants and he said he likes THIS recipe better than a restaurant! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Hey Francesca! That is such a great news! This is also my husband’s favorite meal to order out so I’m SO happy to have nailed down a great recipe to make at home, I might even whip some up tonight! 🙂 Thank you!! -Stephanie

  8. I made this – and my son loved it! Thanks for providing a recipe that was so easy to follow! YUM says it all!

    • Angela!! That’s amazing and you made my day! Im so happy that your son loved it and truly appreciate that you found the instructions easy to follow! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this comment!

  9. Sauce turned out AMAZING!!

    • Hey Rosanna! WONDERFUL! I’m so happy that you enjoyed this, my husband can’t get enough of it, this is definitely one of his all-time favorite meals. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment and a rating, I really appreciate it! Take care! -Stephanie

  10. Je viens de terminer mon assiette et je suis aux anges. Cette recette est tout simplement extraordinaire. Les saveurs qui s’en dégagent et les arômes sont sublimes. Si je ne mettais pas servi une pleine assiette je m’en serai servi une deuxième fois. Je vais vous suivre et me gâter à faire vos recettes !! Merci

As Seen On…