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  • Kelly Marshall

Penne alla Vodka

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

For many people who know me, this dish requires no introduction. It's one of my favorite things to make, and for how simple it is, it's absolutely delicious. I've been making it since college and over the past 20 years (!) have played with the recipe to bring it to what I consider perfect. It's so simple and tasty, even my dad, who is not one to compliment food, says it's his favorite he's ever had. I also recently had the pleasure of cooking it for 25 people so I can tell you it scales up, way up, if you need it to. If you're any fan of vodka sauce, this is a MUST try. Enjoy!

Note: the sauce recipe makes enough for a whole box of pasta if you're cooking for 4 or more. I usually cook half a box of pasta and its enough for 3 servings + 2 extra servings of sauce, which you can keep in fridge or freeze, it reheats beautifully.


8-16oz Penne, cooked (half to a full box)

4 TBS Butter

2-3 cloves Garlic

4-6oz Prosciutto, torn or cut into 1/2" strips

1 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes

1/4 - 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper

3/4 - 1 cup Heavy Cream

1/3 cup Vodka (I use Ketel One)


  1. Cook Penne according to package directions for al dente, and when drained, return the pasta to the pot

  2. While Pasta cooks, heat butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet

  3. When butter is melted, add Garlic, and toss until fragrant being careful not to toast it, 1 min

  4. Add Prosciutto and toss in the garlic butter, breaking up stuck-together pieces, about 2-3 mins

  5. Add Tomatoes & Crushed Red Pepper, and stir to combine. Lower heat and simmer on medium about 5 mins

  6. Stirring in a whisking motion, slowly add cream in a circle around the pan, allowing it to fully mix with the tomato sauce before adding more

  7. When cream is incorporated, stir for 1 more min, then add Vodka and stir in a whisking motion to incorporate

  8. Allow sauce to simmer until you can no longer taste the alcohol in the vodka. Adjust the salt & spice to your taste.

  9. You can either ladle the sauce into the pasta pot with the drained pasta, or you can add the pasta to the sauce, depending on how much you're making (and how big your pots & pans are)

  10. I usually top with some grated fresh cheese (pecorino, romano, parmesan reggiano, whatever I have), but it's also great without! Enjoy


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