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Vodka Pasta Sauce



I’m sure you’re wondering or asking yourself, like I did, what does Vodka do to make a tomato base pasta sauce taste so good?  All I can say is that it does.  Here are a few tid-bits I found to be true with this sauce.  It balances out the rich creamy tomato base sauce.  I’ve used wine but wine can add a more distinctive flavor of its own where vodka imparts very little of its own flavor but adds flavor at the same time.  Funny isn’t it?   If you haven’t made vodka sauce before, give it a try.  It is really good.  There is just something about it that makes the sauce different from other sauces, like marinara.   







  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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Vodka Pasta Sauce


  • Olive Oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp Butter
  • ½ Onion, small diced
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • Few Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 oz Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Vodka
  • 2 28 oz can Plum Tomatoes (Manzana tomatoes) 
  • Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
  • ¾ cup Heavy Cream, add ½ first then more if needed
  • 1 Tbsp fresh Oregano, chopped (or dried)
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Basil or Parsley chopped for garnish
  • Favorite Pasta – such as Penne


  • In a deep sauté pan, on medium heat add a little olive oil and butter.  Then add the onions and cook until soft.  Add the garlic. Tomato paste and red pepper flakes and cook until garlic is aromatic and tomato paste has cooked a little bit.  Add the Vodka and cook until reduced by a little bit.  Add the tomatoes and roughly mash with a fork.  Add a few basil leaves at this time.  Using an immersion blender blend the sauce until smooth or the desired consistency.  Add a little salt and pepper. 
  • Cover with the lid slightly off to have a little of the steam to escape and cook the sauce for about an hour and a half on the stove.  The sauce will thicken slightly.  
  • Remove from the heat.  Stir in 1/3 of the parmesan cheese.  Fold the cooked pasta into the sauce and keep warm.  Serve hot in a bowl and garnish with the rest of the parmesan cheese and basil.


This recipe does make plenty of sauce.  If making pasta for a smaller gathering, you can just make half the recipe.

Enjoy … gathering around the table with family and friends