Fresh Plate

….Freshly prepared recipes, thoughts, and meditations

Pasta With Vodka Sauce

on August 15, 2012

This is such an amazing dish that is super simple and always makes a good impression when serving guests. I know a cup of vodka seems a bit much, but its totally necessary for the flavor and I highly doubt there is any alcohol left after 1 1/2 hours roasting time. You can easily make the sauce ahead and keep chilled (or frozen) until ready for use.


1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium spanish onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, diced

1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes

1 1/2 t dried oregano

1 cup vodka

2 (28 oz) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes

Kosher salt/Black pepper

3/4 lb penne pasta

2 T  fresh oregano, chopped

1/2 – 3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 Grated parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 375 degress.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and saute the onions and garlic until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add red pepper flakes and dried oregano and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the vodka and continue to cook until the mixture is reduced by half.

Meanwhile, drain the juice from the tomatoes and crush them right into the pan by squeezing them with your hands. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove pan from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

While the tomatoes are cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente. Drain and set aside.

Place the roasted tomato mixture in a food processor (or blender) in small batches and puree in  until smooth. Return to the pan.

Reheat the sauce on low heat and add fresh oregano and enough heavy cream to give it a creamy consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 10 minutes. Toss the pasta in the sauce and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan and serve immediately.  (Serves 4-5)


*If you don’t like oregano, replace with basil.

*Use only 1 1/2 (28 oz) cans of tomatoes, and add a (8 oz) jar of drained roasted red peppers.

*If you want to cut the fat, use greek yogurt instead of heavy cream.


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