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  • Writer's pictureHeather Green

Penna Alla Vodka to make You Look like a Pro

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

My husband and I got a book called “The Gourmet Cookbook” by Ruth Reichl. We got it mostly for the really interesting (and expensive) recipes, because, well it’s fun to read about how to cook escargot.


In the pasta section, there was an affordable gem that Amin and I now make regularly. It’s called Penne Alla Vodka and I swear you’ll never go back to eating jarred pasta again once to see how crazy easy it is to make and how absolutely pro chef it tastes. Below, not only will I walk you through it, but I’ll give you a video to watch to see how it’s done firsthand!


1/2 a stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2/3 cup canned tomato puree

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 pound cooked ham, finely chopped (I like to cut it into strips).

2 drops of Tabasco, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound penne

3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Melt butter in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in vodka, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 4 minutes. Add tomato puree and cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft about 5 minutes. Stir in ham, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Keep sauce warm over very low heat.

Add pasta to the sauce and toss with sauce and cheese, adding some of the reserved cooking water if the pasta seems dry.

If you made this, let me know how it went in the comments below! If you would like exclusive content into my life then feel free to follow my social media listed on the sidebar! Have a wonderful day! -Heather Autumn


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