Farfalle alla Vodka

Penne alla vodka is one of my husband’s specialties. My entire extended family raves about this dish and were all nagging me the last time I was home that I had never posted the recipe on Italicious. The irony of it all is that he’s based his recipe on the one he found in the Joy of Cooking. I have a feeling that they all thought it was some family recipe, or maybe he just makes it taste better because he’s a real I-italian. Who knows, but he made some very memorable meals for them with this simple recipe from who knows where.

Farfalle alla Vodka

adapted from the Joy of Cooking

Melt or heat in a large skillet over medium:

  • 3 tbsp butter


  • 1 onion, finely chopped

Cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in:

  • One 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, lightly drained and chopped by hand or in a food processor (he replaces this with a few tbsp of tomato paste)
  • ¼ cup vodka
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes

Simmer briskly for 10 minutes. Stir in:

  • ½ cup heavy cream

Heat through. Stir in:

  • 12 fresh basil leaves, chopped (optional)
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Meanwhile, bring a rolling boil in a large pot:

  • 6 quarts water
  • 2 tbsp salt

Add and cook until tender but firm:

  • 1 lb farfalle (or penne)

Drain and remove to a large serving bowl. Toss with the sauce and serve very hot. Grated cheese is not usually served with this sauce.

Two Years Ago: Lentil Pottage & Swiss Chard With Raisins and Pine Nuts

~ by italicious on October 4, 2011.

2 Responses to “Farfalle alla Vodka”

  1. I have a recipe very similar to this. My bonus ingredients that I add are: 1/4 pound chopped proscuitto or bacon is sauteed with the onion. Also, I add in 1/2 pound of 31/40 size cooked shrimp to the sauce and let that simmer for about 5 minutes before I serve the sauce on the pasta.

  2. It’s a favorite in our family, too. My niece, especially. She insists that I make it *every* time she visits!

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