Vodka Sauce Penne

Recipe adapted from:

This sauce doesn’t actually taste like vodka. The vodka brings out the flavours to the other ingredients and gives it a little extra depth. The alcohol will cook out during the process. You won’t even notice it!


  • 1 (16 ounce) package penne pasta
  • 2 Tbsp butter or margarine
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced pancetta bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Handful of mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup half and half fat free cream/light thickened cream
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce/purée or 1 can of diced tomatoes + 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter or margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, pancetta/bacon, and mushrooms and sauté until lightly browned.
  3. Add vodka and stir until it is reduced by half, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, cream, and Italian seasoning. Simmer uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes. Stir every few minutes until sauce has thickened.
  4. Stir in pasta, and heat through. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Parmesan cheese.


  • Add in roasted pumpkin, spinach, zucchini or grilled chicken breast if you have any on hand
  • If you’re using canned tomatoes, add in sugar to combat the tartness of tomatoes
  • I got 5 servings out of this recipe due to all the additional ingredients

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