This is a simple pasta dish that doesn’t take a great deal of effort but tastes good. You won’t be able to taste the vodka but you do get the heat of it coming through. If you are serving the dish to friends it might be an idea not to tell them about the vodka until after they have finished their meal as knowing there is vodka in it does distract you somewhat as you try to detect whether you can taste any offensive flavour with every bite. Perhaps tell them half way through and see if it affects their perception of the dish!

Vodka Pasta Stages


Yield: 4 people

Prep Time: 40 minutes

  • 250 g penne
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove of chopped garlic
  • 1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 60 ml vodka
  • 1.5 tablespoons double cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmigiano reggiano to grate over when serving
  • Fresh basil to garnish if you have some to hand


  • Chopped chillies or dried chilli flakes
  • 100 g bacon cut into smallish chunks




How to Make Vodka Pasta
  1. Start by finely chopping the onion and the garlic.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat and add the onion.
  3. When the onion has begun to soften you can add the garlic and continue to gently heat for a good ten minutes so the onion is soft and translucent.
  4. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and simmer for about 15 or so minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the pasta in a pan of boiling, slightly salted water. Don’t cook it completely as it needs to be al dente and not soft.
  6. Once the tomatoes are cooked take the pan off of the heat and stir in the double cream.
  7. Leave the sauce to one side and drain the al dente pasta, topping it back in the saucepan once completely drained. It is at this point that you add the vodka! Pour it into the pan with the pasta and add the butter and if you like a pinch of salt.
  8. Combine the pasta and vodka well and then add it to the sauce.Leave the sauce to one side and drain the al dente pasta, topping it back in the saucepan once completely drained. It is at this point that you add the vodka! Pour it into the pan with the pasta and add the butter and if you like a pinch of salt.
  9. Mix it all up coating all the pasta as evenly as possible and then serve up into (warmed) pasta bowls or one large serving dish if preferred.
  10. Serve with black pepper and parmesan.

If adding chillies then throw them in along with the garlic. Bacon can be added about 5 minutes before the tomato sauce.

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