Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

spicy vodka sauce for pasta

(14 ratings)
Blue Ribbon Recipe by
Martha Ray Deen
Charlotte, NC

I typically make this vodka sauce when serving my Parmesan chicken, but it goes wonderfully with shrimp dishes or alone as a side. Use your favorite vodka and enjoy a "dash" of the vodka while you're cooking. :P

Blue Ribbon Recipe

A super easy vodka sauce that's full of flavor. It's thick, robust, and has a slight kick. There's a hint of cayenne, but the heat is not at all overwhelming. Once prep work is done, the pasta sauce comes together very quickly. We served this vodka sauce over pasta alongside chicken cutlets for a hearty meal. It could easily be served over rigatoni pasta with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan on top for a special meal.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
(14 ratings)
yield 6 -8
prep time 10 Min
cook time 30 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For spicy vodka sauce for pasta

  • 1 md
    onion, chopped
  • 2 md
    celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c
    olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1/4 lb
    prosciutto or cooked bacon, very finely chopped
  • 3/4 c
    vodka, quality you would drink
  • 28 oz
    canned, crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp
    oregano, dried flakes
  • 2 Tbsp
    parsley, freshly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp
    basil, dried (you can use fresh as well)
  • 1/2 tsp
    cayenne pepper
  • 1 c
    half and half

How To Make spicy vodka sauce for pasta

Test Kitchen Tips
When we added 1/2 cup of half and half, it was still a bit thick. We used a whole pint.
  • Sauteeing onion, celery, and garlic.
    In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, and garlic in oil; stir until soft.
  • Adding vodka and prosciutto.
    Add prosciutto (or cooked bacon) and vodka. Simmer until almost all liquid is gone.
  • Tomatoes, cayenne, and herbs added to the skillet.
    Add tomatoes, cayenne, and herbs.
  • Sauce simmering in the skillet.
    Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Adding half and half to the sauce.
    Stir in half and half and heat for 3 minutes.
  • Spicy Vodka Sauce poured over cooked pasta.
    Meanwhile, cook pasta (of your choice- I used penne) in boiling salted water until done. Drain. Serve sauce over noodles.