Fresh Pasta w/ Vodka Cream Sauce

We had a bunch of cream left over after making Kim’s Yummy Pasta and we were trying to come up with some ideas for dinner. After poking around our recipes we came across this recipe for a Vodka Cream Sauce. Instead of using boxed pasta we went for some fresh pasta. I read somewhere that alcohol can bring out additional flavors from tomatoes. I am not sure if this is true, but the sauce sure was tomato-y. The vodka also gives the sauce a nice zing and cuts through the richness of the cream. I skipped the basil, I didn’t have any around and didn’t want to splurge on any.

The recipe for the fresh pasta can be found here.


Fresh Pasta with a Vodka Cream Sauce

From: Cook’s Illustrated


  • 1 batch fresh pasta
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes , drained, liquid reserved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion , minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • Table salt
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Puree half of tomatoes in food processor until smooth. Dice remaining tomatoes into 1/2-inch pieces, discarding cores. Combine pureed and diced tomatoes in liquid measuring cup (you should have about 1 2/3 cups). Add reserved liquid to equal 2 cups.
  2. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are light golden around edges, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and pepper flakes; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Remove pan from heat and add vodka. Return pan to medium-high heat and simmer briskly until alcohol flavor is cooked off, 8 to 10 minutes; stir frequently and lower heat to medium if simmering becomes too vigorous. Stir in cream and cook until hot, about 1 minute.
  4. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta. Cook until just shy of al dente, then drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water, and transfer pasta back to Dutch oven. Add sauce to pasta and toss over medium heat until pasta absorbs some of sauce, 1 to 2 minutes, adding reserved cooking water if sauce is too thick. Stir in basil and adjust seasoning with salt. Divide among pasta bowls and serve immediately, passing Parmesan separately.


2 thoughts on “Fresh Pasta w/ Vodka Cream Sauce

  1. Pingback: Homemade Pasta Dough Recipe | Leite's Culinaria

  2. I made this last night. With a couple of exceptions, I followed the recipie which I don’t usually do, and it was fantastic. I made this dish with smoked salmon and it came out delish. The only added ingredient was a sqeeze of lemon near the end.

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