Vodka Pasta (Made Vegetarian)

vodka pasta

I’ve been away for so long that I feel almost ashamed of myself! Luckily, this is not sufficient to stop me from posting again πŸ™‚

As you can see from the pictures below, I’m cooking in a different kitchen πŸ™‚ – this is part of the reason for my prolonged absence: we have moved to a new apartment and I haven’t been cooking much lately, let alone blogging!

This quick and simple pasta recipe (adapted from the Silver Spoon) is another Italian classic although it’s made with vodka, a classic Russian spirit. Vodka pasta traditionally contains ham, but it can be omitted without taking too much away from the original flavor. As always when cooking with liqueurs and spirits, it has to be noted that any alcoholic content ends up evaporating completely. What is left, however, is more than the drink’s flavor – alcohol as a solvent has the ability to extract aromatic compounds from other ingredients (including some that don’t mix with water), increasing the overall flavor of the dish.

Vodka Pasta (Made Vegetarian)

Yield: 2 servings

Total Time: 25 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Vodka Pasta (Made Vegetarian)


  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, finely chopped
  • ΒΌ cup cream (33% fat)
  • ΒΌ cup vodka
  • 2 cups penne rigate (dried pasta)
  • salt and pepper


  1. While bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil, finely chop the parsley.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan, then add the tomato paste and the parsley.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes at low heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, start cooking the pasta.
  4. Mix in the cream and the vodka, then continue cooking until the vodka evaporates completely and the sauce thickens again. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. When the pasta is a couple of minutes from being ready, drain it quickly and finish cooking it in the sauce. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

7 thoughts on “Vodka Pasta (Made Vegetarian)”

  1. This recipe has saved me many times(!) both when unexpected guests and unexpected hungers arrive.

    Without fail, guests are amazed at how fast this comes together. Maybe we’ve been conditioned to think that easy food must come out of a box. Or maybe people just don’t normally keep these ingredients at hand.

    This is practical food, and delicious, too. We should all know how to make it!

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