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+ servings
Two bowls of Vodka Sauce Pasta.

Homemade Vodka Sauce

This Homemade Vodka Sauce with your favorite pasta is a great date night meal or easy weeknight dinner. Full of the the rich flavors of San Marazano tomatoes along with vodka and cream makes this an irresistible dish.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian/American
Keyword Homemade Vodka Sauce, Vodka Sauce, Vodka Sauce Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 498kcal
Author Heather


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lg brown onion *diced, about 2 cups
  • 6 cloves garlic *roughly diced, about 2 tbsp
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chili pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 1- 28oz can San Marazano tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup pasta water
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese *plus extra for garnish
  • 15 basil leaves *torn and added at the end
  • 1 lb pasta *of choice


For the Pasta

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Once boiling heavily salt water to taste like the ocean. Cook pasta to al dente following the directions on the package.

For the Sauce

  • Over medium heat sauté onion and garlic until sweating and just starting to become clear, about 5-7 mins.
  • Add in chili pepper flakes and tomato paste, stirring consistently. Cook until tomato paste just starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, about 2-3 mins.
  • Add in vodka and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes or until most of vodka has cooked off.
  • Add canned tomatoes, using a spatula to break them apart. Bring to a simmer over med heat and then cook for about 5-7 mins.
  • Remove a 1/4 cup of salted pasta water and temper half and half with pasta water. Gently stir in half and half to vodka sauce. Bring to a simmer still over medium heat and cook for 5 mins.
  • Stir in parmesan and torn basil leaves.
  • Add pasta to sauce and gently stir. Garnish with additional parmesan.


*Please use as many organic ingredients as possible.
**Inspired by Bon Appétit
Recipe Notes
  • To make heavily salted water for the pasta use an 8 quart stockpot filled 3/4's of the way full. Once the water is boiling add approximately 1/2 cup sea salt. This one step shocks everyone but it is truly how chefs do it. 
  • Since stovetops vary in the intensity of heat they produce, timing may vary. 
  • For an extra rich Vodka Sauce use heavy cream. 


Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 372mg | Potassium: 316mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 412IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 255mg | Iron: 1mg