Penne a la Vodka

My brother in law makes a fantastic pasta, with a peppery tomato sauce. This is definitely a dish that is a great item for entertaining a few people. The garlicy sauce really packs a punch that will keep you coming back for more and more. Gopi's website is the culinary go to for the family, and he started blogging recipes much earlier than I did. In fact as I started learning to cook Indian food, I used his website regularly as a reference. Gopi's website is fantastic, because he really takes the time to provide exact measurements and precise instructions. He posts a variety of recipes; Indian, Italian, varieties of breads and cakes, and many more. You can even read them in three different languages!

The following recipe is taken exactly from Gopi's site

Pasta with pepper vodka sauce


  • 1 lb penne or ziti pasta
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped shallots
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • ½ tsp. crushed pepper flakes
  • ¾ cup Pepper Vodka
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Chopped basil leaves, garnish
  • Finely grated pecorino cheese, garnish


In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until just al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, return to the pot, and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the vodka and cook until reduced to about 3 to 4 tablespoons, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and cook until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to coat evenly.

Transfer to a large serving bowl and garnish with the basil and top with a sprinkling of the pecorino cheese.

Notes by Gopi Sundaram:

I got this recipe from Emeril Live on the Food Network.

The sauce may look like it won't suffice for the whole pound of pasta, but it'll be okay. Too much cream sauce would make it too heavy. If you really want more sauce, add another 14oz can of tomatoes, and proportionally increase the quantities of vodka, cream, and pepper flakes.

I usually use farfalle instead of ziti or penne pasta, and use a blend of mozzarella and parmesan cheeses instead of pecorino.

1 comment:

Ranjani said...

That's a great click-looks very artsy:)