The Best Penne with Vodka Sauce (IMHO), it’s true! This complete flavor package has earned its place in our monthly rotation.penne_with_vodka_sauce

This is one of my all-time favorite pasta dishes.  When my husband used to travel for work, this was the dish that my son and I would always have for dinner.  It is total comfort food to me. It is from the wonderful book Trattoria by Patricia Wells’.   I remember reading a bunch of Amazon reviews before I bought this book and more than one reviewer said that this recipe alone was worth the price of the book.  I could not agree more.  This is by far and away the best Penne with vodka sauce I’ve had.  I deeply love Patricia Wells for this recipe!  Thank you, Patricia,  my Penne with Vodka Sauce angel !!!!

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Source:  Slightly Adapted From Patricia Wells

5 from 1 vote

The Best Penne with Vodka Sauce (IMHO)

The Best Penne with Vodka Sauce (IMHO), it's true! This complete flavor package has earned its place in our monthly rotation.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 489 kcal
Author Kathleen


  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 6 Garlic Cloves Chopped
  • 1 Pinch Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt
  • 1-28 Ounces Crushed Tomatoes In Puree Canned
  • 1 Pound Dried Penne Pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons Vodka
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley Roughly Chopped


  1.  In an unheated skillet large enough to hold the pasta later, combine the oil, garlic, crushed red pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt, stirring to coat with the oil.  Cook over low-moderate heat for 2-3 minutes.  Do NOT brown garlic.  Add crushed tomatoes.  Stir to blend, and simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens about 15 minutes.  (This step is super important.  The sauce needs to thicken for the flavors to intensify.  So the amount of time you cook it is less important than the consistency.  You may need to cook it longer than 15 minutes.)   Taste for seasoning.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of salt and the penne.  Stir to prevent sticking and cook until al dente.  Drain thoroughly.
  3. Add the drained pasta to skillet with the tomato sauce. Toss. Add the vodka, and toss again, then add the cream and toss.  Cover, reduce the heat to low and let rest for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrition information will vary based on the specific products. To be safe, check the nutrition facts labels of your products. Optional object listed above have been left out of nutritional data.

Nutrition Facts
The Best Penne with Vodka Sauce (IMHO)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 489 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 38%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 54mg 18%
Sodium 54mg 2%
Potassium 97mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 50g 17%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 2g
Protein 10g 20%
Vitamin A 15.4%
Vitamin C 4.8%
Calcium 3.5%
Iron 1.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.