This amazing homemade Vodka Sauce recipe is going to make you forever pass by the store bought stuff… it’s that good!
You’re going to be amazed how easy it is to create such a decadent and gourmet sauce in your own kitchen.
With just a few pantry staples, and of course some vodka, you can create a restaurant quality meal that you’ll come back to again and again…
Though store bought jars can be convenient in a pinch, we love making our own pasta sauces from scratch. They’re so much better, and really don’t take much effort, just a little time to simmer.
What is Vodka Sauce?
Though the exact origins are debated, vodka sauce is a pink pasta sauce that gained popularity in the 1980’s.
It features a unique combination of tomato and cream. Generally, these two ingredients are not used together, as the acidity from the tomatoes causes the oil in the cream to separate. That’s where the vodka come in…
The ethanol in the vodka acts as an emulsifier, allowing everything to combine together nicely.
It’s worth noting, the alcohol boils out of the sauce, so no need to worry about getting tipsy!
What Does Vodka Sauce Taste Like?
Almost a marriage of marinara and alfredo, vodka sauce is rich and creamy, but still retains a tanginess from the tomatoes.
The flavor also includes some nutty hints from fresh parmesan cheese, as well as just a touch of kick from red chili flakes.
If you like it extra spicy, check out our Gigi Hadid Pasta recipe, which is a fiery take on vodka sauce.
- Olive oil or butter
- Red chili flakes
- Whole canned tomatoes
- Tomato paste
- Heavy Cream
- Parmesan cheese
How to Make Vodka Sauce
Start by heating the olive oil or butter in a skillet or sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté till they become translucent. Next, add in garlic and red chili flakes and cook another minute or two.
Break the tomatoes up into small pieces with your hand in a bowl. Add them to the pan, along with tomato paste and vodka. Simmer till the tomatoes break down, about 25-30 minutes.
TIP: Do not use diced tomatoes thinking that they will break down faster and speed things up. They are actually treated to hold their shape.
Stir in cream and shredded parmesan cheese. Cook 5-10 more minutes.
Serve with your favorite pasta.
What is the Best Pasta Shape to Use with Vodka Sauce
Most commonly, vodka sauce is served with penne (penne alla vodka). However, it goes great with other short shapes such as rigatoni, ziti, bow ties, orecchiette or rotini.
For a low carb option, serve your vodka sauce with zoodles.
Leftovers and Storage
Leftover vodka sauce refrigerates well in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Simply reheat on the stovetop over medium low heat, adding a splash of water if necessary. It’s a great make-ahead contender.
We don’t recommend freezing it, due to the cream.
The next time you crave vodka sauce, skip the store bought and impress your family by making your own from scratch. Trust us, it’ll be so worth the little bit of effort when you take that first bite.
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Homemade Vodka Sauce, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 28oz whole canned tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- salt, to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet or sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté till they become translucent. Add in garlic and red chili flakes and cook another minute or two.
- Break the tomatoes up into small pieces with your hand in a bowl. Add them to the pan, along with tomato paste and vodka. Simmer till the tomatoes break down, about 25-30 minutes.
- Stir in cream and shredded parmesan cheese. Cook 5-10 more minutes.
- Serve with your favorite pasta.
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