Vodka and Pasta?

Ran across this page on an internet shopping site, thought it sounded weird.

Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce

Out of curiousity, I just might order it!

If you like pasta check through the rest of the site, it’s kinda cool.

< not an infomercial, trust me >

Before you put your money down, why not whip up a batch of pasta in vodka sauce in the techchick Home Test Kitchen? There should be a recipe in almost every contemporary Italian cookbook.

This dish began appearing on NYC menus in the early 1980s, and is still around. I may have ordered it in the past, but it must not have been a memorable culinary experience because I don’t remember it at all.

What would be the point of mixing vodka into a pasta dish? It’s not strongly flavored; it seems to me it would dilute the sauce without adding anything of value.

I once came across a piece of vodka advice in a cookbook…mix a teaspoon of it into your chocolate chip cookie batter. Since the author was a noted souse, I never paid it any attention.


Vodka and tomato sauce? I can’t believe you’d actually be able to taste it. That’s the great thing about bloody mary’s on the morning after. A little alcohol to appease the liver and no alcohol taste.

Vodka should be mixed with nothing but a couple ice cubes and maybe and bleu cheese stuffed olive or two, or the above mentioned bloody mary.

For some reason the vodka intensifies other tastes. The alcohol burns off, and there’s no “vodka” taste but the tomato/spice/cream mixture gets a depth to it.

FWIW I treated myself to a killer pasta with vodka and lemon sauce as consolation for having to miss the Springfield Debauch. Easy to make and the vodka brightens up the lemon taste in the cream sauce. I don’t know why it works, but it does. Where is Chef Troy when we need him?


I’m not big on vodka, so I doubt I would try to recreate the sauce on my own as I don’t keep it around the house…I just thought it sounded interesting.

I have heard of wine in tomato sauce but never anything hard…

hmmmmmm, wonder what other sauces people have made using hard liquor.

Hey Veb,

Your sauce sounds good!!

Care to post the recipe?

Sure! Fast, dead easy to make and great for those “the world is dumping on me” days.


Fettucine, water, salt
2 large lemons (juice both; grate rind of 1)
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
3/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
(optional stuff listed later)

Do the fettucine thing: boil water, toss in kosher salt, boil pasta for 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

While the fettucine is boiling, juice the lemons and grate the rind. Combine cream and vodka in 10" skillet and simmer for 5 minutes or so until slightly thickened. Add the lemon juice and rind to the sauce; cook for another few minutes.

Dump the drained pasta into the sauce and toss; season w/ pepper and chopped parsley. Serve on warmed plates; pass the parmesan separately.

Optional stuff: toss in cooked scallops, shrimp, crab bits, steamed asparagus or peas, or whatever catches your fancy; put it in the sauce just before tossing w/ the pasta.
(I think this could be made w/ half&half nudged with a little cornstarch slurry to make it slighly less evil in calories. But the heavy cream is great. I just skip lunch the next day.)

Hope you enjoy it!

Too cool, thanks Veb…much appreciated, I am always on the look for new and unique recipes!

Thanks again! :slight_smile:

Wow, Veb, you are the FIRST woman I’ve ever met who has actually used heavy cream in a recipe. I was beginning to think that it was produced by and for the male sex exclusively.

Oh, tech, sounds good!

Ike, I am a cream lover. I should’ve been born on a dairy farm-straight from the cow would’ve been better!! I used some to make French Toast this morning too. Tech is okay with me - anyone who uses cream in their recipes and doesn’t try to “defat” everything is tops on my list! :slight_smile:

BunnyGirl and TVeblen? If you say that you occasionally cook with butter instead of Healthy Olive Oil, I’m gonna say the hell with the Art Museums and the Opera, I’m movin’ to the midwest!

Here I come, girls, and I’m packing pastitsio!


Personally, I never even make a dish unless it has quantities of butter, heavy cream or sour cream in it. What would be the point?

A local Italian place here in Tampa makes a Penne alla Vodka that is to DIE for. Maybe literally, but I love the cream anyway. I can’t imagine what flavor the vodka would add but that dish is just HEAVENLY.

(Can’t seem to shake the death references, can I?)

Count me in, too! I confess, I occasionally go for a week or two doing the “healthy” thing, but if it comes right down to it, I’d rather be carrying a few extra pounds around and able to eat cream, butter, and cheese than be a stick eating nothing but lettuce all day. What’s the point of living forever if I can never have a beer? Not much of a life, if you ask me.

“If you say that you occasionally cook with butter instead of Healthy Olive Oil, I’m gonna say the hell with the Art Museums and the Opera, I’m movin’ to the midwest!”

Then Chicago’s the place for you. We’ve got an art museum (well, an Art Institute, but same difference), an opera, AND fatty food, too! Exhibit A: deep dish pizza, covered in cheese. Yum!!!

Heres a link to the menu which includes my all time favorite pasta dish. Maggiano’s Homemade Gnocchi with Vodka Tomato sauce.

If you have a Maggiano’s restaraunt near you give it a try. For the record, you can’t taste the Vodka, and I can’t truly say how it affects the flavor because I’ve never had the same recipe without the Vodka. I am willing to accept that the sauce’s unique and complex flavor, in contrast with your typical marinara, can be attributed to the vodka. This should indicate that the concept isn’t unusual, and you may take my word that it is an excellent dish.

Uke, you want foods cooked with fattening but oh-so-good ingredients–head on down south here with me! We don’t use fat-free anything! (OK, so lard is pretty gross but everything else is great!)

I have a hobby. I have the world’s largest collection of seashells. I keep it scattered on beaches all over the world. Maybe you’ve seen some of it.