Penne Alla Vodka

Barbara first made Penne Ala Vodka for her son’s engagement party using a recipe from a friend of a friend. It has undergone a few changes over the years before it became an all-time family favorite…her granddaughter Stefani could live on this alone! Stefani recently requested that Barbara make it for her baby shower, and she was disappointed when there weren’t any leftovers to take home to Virginia! It’s always a big crowd pleaser and a must have for every holiday dinner.

This recipe is delicious and not your typical restaurant flavor. If you’re not a fan of a little heat, omit the cayenne but it’s really not a strong kick. 


Servings: 8-10

  • Prepare basic tomato sauce ahead of time (see recipe link below)
  • 2 lbs. Penne pasta with the lines (sauce sticks to it better)
  • 6 Tablespoons of salted butter
  • 8-10 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more for a bigger kick)
  • 6-8 shakes red pepper flakes (more if you like it hotter)
  • 1/2 lb. very thin sliced Prosciutto, shred into pieces with your fingers
  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • dash of black pepper
  • 4 ounces vodka
  • 1 qt heavy cream (light cream can also be used)
  • 4 cups of already prepared Basic Tomato Sauce, (or your favorite red sauce)
  • 4 heaping handfuls of Pecorino Romano grated cheese (approximately 2 cups)
  • 1 lb. mozzarella cheese,  shredded or diced


  • Saute garlic and prosciutto in melted butter in a deep skillet.
  • Add salt, cayenne pepper & red pepper flakes.
  • Add vodka to deglaze and stir well.
  • Add cream, red sauce, and Pecorino Romano cheese. 
  • Simmer & stir until it comes to a boil, don’t overcook.
  • Add mozzarella just after it comes to a boil to avoid mozzarella from balling up.
  • Pour 2 ladles of vodka sauce over cooked penne to coat.
  • Use remaining sauce to top individual servings and pour the additional sauce in a gravy boat for the table.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves. 

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10 thoughts on “Penne Alla Vodka

  1. I made this for my for my family and everyone of us loved it! There were no leftovers in sight! Keep posting your recipes please because so far my picky family loves each one I make from you 🙂

    1. We are so happy you and your family loved our Penne Alla Vodka recipe. We know how challenging it is to cook for picky eaters. We’ll keep posting…thank you for your encouraging words and support.

  2. I tried your Penne Alla Vodka recipe last night and must say it’s the best I’ve ever had. This was an easy recipe to follow and all my guests loved it. Thank you for sharing it.

    1. Cannoli Lover, thanks for taking the time to let us know you & your guests liked our Penne Alla Vodka recipe. It’s our most requested recipe of friends and family. Happy Cooking.

  3. I have been making Penne Alla Vodka for years and it has been a family favorite. I thought it would be fun to try out this new recipe for me. It was fantastic and it will now replace my mine. Thanks for the inspiration to try something new.

    1. Lois, we are thrilled you tried our Penne Alla Vodka recipe and enjoyed it enough to replace your family favorite! For you to take the time to give a new recipe a try when you already had a family favorite is inspiring to us. Thank you for your support.

  4. I made Penne Alla Vodka tonight for my family but substituted the sausage with shrimp. It was fantastic. Everyone wanted seconds and raved about the flavor. Much better than anything I have had in a restaurant.


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