Penne alla Vodka

Rating & reviews (0 reviews)
Penne alla vodka is a tasty and flavorful pasta dish that was very fashionable in Italy in the 1980s. But it’s so good that it has never gone out of fashion.
The most accredited testimonies trace the origin of penne alla vodka to two hypotheses:
Penne alla vodka was born in the mid-seventies in a restaurant in Bologna, the “Dante”. They prepared flambéed in front of the diners.
Or that it was invented by a chef from New York . In fact in the United States it’s still very loved nowadays.

Prep time: 10 minutesCook time: 15 minutes
Course: Main courseCalories:
Serve: Hot and steaming
Original prepared flambéed in front of the diners.
Cuisine: Italian Style
Origin: Bologna or New York
Recommended side dish: noneDish type: Quick and easy to make
Store: best when eaten freshly cookedSpecial occasions: Sunday meal

Ingredients for 4 servings:
  • 350 g (12 oz) of penne pasta
  • 200 g (7 oz) of pancetta or bacon
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) of vodka
  • 1 shallot or a little onion
  • 400 g (1 3/4 cups) of tomato passata. Try this Italian Passata by Colavita or make tomato passata following our recipe.
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 200 g (1 3/4 cups) of heavy cream
  • coarse and fine salt

Ingredients for 2 servings:
  • 175 g penne pasta
  • 100 g pancetta or bacon
  • 30 ml vodka
  • 1/2 shallot or a little onion
  • 200 g of tomato passata
  • 1 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 g heavy cream
  • coarse and fine salt
Ingredients for one serving:
  • 90 g penne pasta
  • 50 g pancetta or bacon
  • 15 ml vodka
  • 1/4 shallot or a little onion
  • 100 g tomato passata
  • 1 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 g heavy cream
  • coarse and fine salt

  1. On a wooden cutting board, cut the bacon into small pieces.
    Then finely slice the shallot (or onion) and sauté it for 2 minutes in a large nonstick skillet with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Now add the bacon and cook over low heat for about 3 to 4 minutes, until slightly crispy.
    Then raise the heat and pour in the vodka. Let the alcohol evaporate while keeping the heat medium-high for a few minutes.
  3. When the alcohol has completely evaporated, add the tomato passata.
    TIP: If your passata is too thick, add 1/2 cup of water.
    Season with a pinch of salt to taste and stir. Cook for 5-8 minutes over medium heat without a lid, stirring occasionally.
  4. Finally, add the heavy cream and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until the wodka sauce is quite thick and creamy, then turn off the heat and let it rest.
    The vodka sauce is ready. Now cook the pasta.
    Then bring a pot with plenty of salted water to a boil.
    Remember that for one liter (4 1/5 cup) of water it’s recommended to use 10 grams (about 1/2 tablespoon) of salt for every 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of dry pasta.
  5. Cook the penne following the cooking time written on the package. When cooked, drain them al dente.
  6. Put them directly into the pan with the vodka sauce. Turn the heat back on if the sauce has cooled in the meantime. If not, stir carefully and serve the penne alla vodka immediately, hot and steaming.

Spicy Penne alla Vodka

If you like the somewhat spicy taste of tomato sauce, then you can try adding a hot chili pepper to the soffritto. You can leave it whole or finely chop it for a more intense flavor.
Many people also like a final sprinkling of ground black pepper over the seasoned pasta.

Penne alla Vodka with Smoked Salmon

Replace the bacon with smoked salmon cut into small pieces. For fish lovers.
If you like it you can also add a clove of garlic to the soffritto, whole or chopped to taste.