Spicy Vodka Pasta

This is my favorite dish to make for friends when I have them over for dinner. It’s easy and SO delicious! I can’t take much credit for the recipe, though—it’s my sister’s, and she’s a much better chef!


  • Preparation Time: 00:00
  • Cook Time: 00:45
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Servings: 4


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, diced
  • ½ of a white onion, diced
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. vodka
  • 1 ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. pasta (I recommend penne or cavatappi)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • Basil, chopped for garnish
  • Salt to taste


  • 1In large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Once hot, add in garlic and onion, and cook until soft.
  • 2Add in the tomato paste, stirring continuously, and cook until it appears darker in color and caramelized.
  • 3Add in the heavy cream. Stir until combined.
  • 4Add in the vodka and cook through until evaporated.
  • 5Add in the red pepper flakes. (Feel free to add more red pepper flakes than the recipe calls for if you like extra spice!)
  • 6Season with salt to taste.
  • 7Boil pasta separately. Save about 2 cups of the pasta water when draining.
  • 8Add the butter to the hot pasta water.
  • 9Add the pasta to the sauce. Mix to coat the pasta in sauce, and add the hot pasta water as needed until the sauce is creamy. You likely won’t need all of the hot pasta water.
  • 10Top with parmesan and basil. Enjoy!