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Bowl of penne with vodka sauce, topped with fresh parsley and cheese

Penne with Vodka Sauce

Penne with Vodka Sauce is a quick and easy weeknight meal everyone is sure to love.
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Prep Time 0 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course 30 minutes or less, dinner, Entree, Pasta, Sausage
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 761 kcal


  • 16 oz penne pasta
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 2 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon vodka
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese shredded
  • 3 tablespoon fresh basil chopped


  • Place a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling until browned, about 5 minutes. Drain any grease.
  • Stir in red pepper flakes, garlic and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes.
  • While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook according to package directions, usually 9-11 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  • Stir the vodka, heavy cream and parmesan into the skillet with the sausage and tomatoes. Bring back up to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Stir in the cooked pasta until coated. Top with fresh basil.
  • Divide into bowls and serve, topping with additional basil and Parmesan cheese if desired.


Substitutions: italian sausage can be replaced with ground beef, pancetta or chicken breast. Heavy cream can be replaced with half-and-half. 
Serve with: buttered peas, garden salad, garlic bread, sauvignon blanc. 
FAQs: vodka evaporates when it is cooked. The dish will not taste like vodka. Alternatively, use gin or water with a squeeze of lemon juice to replace the vodka. Thicken the sauce more by adding additional Parmesan cheese. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 761kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 31gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 1307mgPotassium: 981mgFiber: 6gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 1140IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 269mgIron: 6mg

Recipes on Cookaholic Wife are for information purposes only. Nutritional Data provided has not been evaluated by a nutritionist.

Keyword 30 minute meals, penne with vodka sauce
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