Vodka sauce is originally from Naples, and it made its way into the American culinary scene in the early 1970’s via New York City.  This sauce is a fantastic tomato creme sauce, that is super easy to make and will be a tasty treat for your entire family.

The traditional recipe is “Penne Alla Vodka” and is a baked dish.  This version foes fantastic with pasta rags and with the addition of 1/2 cup of frozen peas and some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, you can have an instant family classic on your hands.

Tomatoes have an alcohol soluble flavor, that means that the tomato hasn’t reached its full flavor until it has had a kiss with a little wine, or in this case vodka.  Once your sauce has a chance to simmer at temperature, you will have burned off a majority of the alcohol.

Vodka Tomato Sauce


  • 1/4lb bacon (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 2 Cups yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (crushed)
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil


Step 1
Fry your bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. This should take about 3-4 minutes. Add your onions and crushed red pepper. Allow to cook until the onions are a deep golden color, and are soft and slightly caramelized. This should take you about 10 minutes.
Step 2
Add your garlic and allow the garlic to cook for about a minute. Then stir in your tomatoes, and bring to a boil, continue to stir and allow to cook for 2 more minutes.
Step 3
Add your Vodka and and allow the sauce to cook until it is slightly reduced, this should take about 4 minutes. Stir in your cream and cook until thickened, an additional 2 minutes. Remove from your heat and stir in your basil.

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