Kate Heyhoe

Kate's Global Kitchen

by Kate Heyhoe


Penne alla Vodka


Dear Kate,

I would like to know a recipe for a good Penne al Vodka. I have been looking all over the Internet for a recipe but cannot find one. If you could send me a recipe for Penne al Vodka that would be wonderful.





I really love this site. I found it very interesting and educational. I was on a recipe searching mission and discovered this site quite accidentally... I was searching for a recipe for "Vodka Chicken." It was served over penne pasta and had a white or cream sauce over it. The sauce obviously had vodka in it, but I am unsure of the rest of the ingredients. I had it at a restaurant that refused to give out their recipe. It was wonderful and I have been searching for about a month now. If you can help me out, I would really appreciate it.



Dear Big Joe and Mary,

This tasty Italian sauce comes in many variations, some using only tomatoes and some adding cream. The vodka is subtle but distinctive, and the alcohol acts as a flavor conductor, heightening the taste of the whole dish.

Mary, try the recipe here and add cooked chicken to it to see if that replicates the dish you are looking for. You may also omit the cream and use more tomatoes instead, or begin the dish with a small amount of cooked pancetta or bacon for a deep, smoky taste. You may also use your own favorite jar of tomato sauce instead of the canned tomatoes.

Buon Appetito!

Kate Heyhoe


Penne alla Vodka

Penne Pasta

serves 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup vodka
one 14-1/2 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound penne pasta, cooked al dente
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

In medium sauce pan on low heat, melt butter. Add crushed red pepper and vodka and bring to a boil. Simmer for one minute. Add tomatoes and simmer for two minutes, then add heavy cream. Drain pasta well and combine with sauce. Add cheese and parsley. Serve immediately.

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This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.

Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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