Penne ala Vodka

Penne, Vodka and prosciutto. Really. What’s not to love about this pasta dish?I came across this recipe when I was searching online for vegetarian dishes to try. Ok, not exactly the vegetarian dish I was looking for but this had me at Vodka. I love Vodka! This recipe has a nice balance of flavours. The hint of Vodka alcohol, the creaminess of  heavy cream, the smoky prosciutto, the kick you get from the pepper flakes and the saltness of shaved parmesan. Such a simple dish to whip up in no time.Ingredients

(Serves 3-4)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 300g thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 350g penne pasta
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • Chopped parsley, for serving


1.   Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 4-5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2.   Reduce heat to medium. Add the onions and cook until softened and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic, stirring to combine, and sauté for 2 more minutes.

3.   Stir the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, sugar, and salt into the onion mixture. Stir in the vodka and increase heat back to medium-high. Briskly simmer for 8 – 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the alcohol flavor has cooked off. Reduce heat to low and whisk in heavy cream.

4.   Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente according to package directions. Gently fold the cooked penne and reserved prosciutto into the vodka sauce and continue cooking on low heat for another couple of minutes.

5.   Season with more salt and red pepper flakes if desired, and serve with fresh Parmesan and chopped parsley.Just a thought, this can be a vegetarian dish if you omit the prosciutto. Or for those who can have fish, I think smoked trout or salmon flakes will work with this dish.

Recipe from

This entry was published on August 31, 2012 at 6:03 pm. It’s filed under cooking, family bonding, food, Quick Meals, recipes, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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