On Creamy Pasta Alla Vodka

THIS! This is the BEST creamy pasta alla vodka I have made in SOME TIME!! Like…ever actually! I mean, this recipe…there’s a phrase in my friend group that I hope you won’t find offensive…but this recipe is the tits. MAN!! The trick I learned was not to used canned diced tomatoes, but tomato paste instead, THOUGH you can definitely add in fresh diced tomatoes afterward for an extra kick of freshness. And butter. That little bit of butter at the end really helps to smooth out the sauce and keeps it from sticking too much. YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS PRONTO. I PROMISE, YOU WON’T REGRET IT!

Hoping all of you reading this are staying safe and well!

— Cooking Maggie

Creamy Pasta Alla Vodka

Ingredients – Serves 6

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp vodka (we are a Tito’s household – dog lovers, you know?)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb curly pasta (gemelli is my favorite, but fusilli or penne will work here too! You just want the curly pasta that can absorb all that sauce around it!)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 oz grated parm cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped (or chiffonade–aka. ribboned) basil


  1. Get your pasta water (with all the salt) going. When water starts to boil add in your pasta – cook for the time mentioned on the box (8-10 minutes). When pasta is al dente, save 1-2 cups of the pasta water, then drain your pasta and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the shallot and garlic, stirring occasionally, until softened (about 4-5 minutes).
  3. Add tomato paste and stir consistently (a whisk is easier to do this with) until paste turns brick red and starts to caramelize (around 3-5 minutes depending on your pan). Add your vodka, and stir again until the liquid is mostly evaporated (1-2 minutes), and then add in the cream and red pepper flakes. Stir until well blended, then remove from heat.
  4. Season with salt & pepper to taste to your sauce, then add in your pasta and the butter. Stir until butter has melted and mixed in, then add in a little bit of pasta water at a time till the sauce has thinned out to preferred consistency.
  5. Finally, add in the parm cheese, serve up, and top with basil! ENJOY!!!

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