Simply, Vodka Sauce Pasta


This rich and spiced tomato sauce pasta is the kind of pasta that's comforting for the coming cold weather. This recipe is simple, quick and versatile! You can easily add more ingredients to the recipe such as vegetables (ex. zucchini, asparagus) or proteins (ex. ground turkey, lean ground beef)

Dairy-free ✔ Vegan Option ✔

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1 medium onion

  • 5 garlic cloves

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 (4.6-oz.) tube double-concentrated tomato paste

  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 cup vodka (any vodka you have on hand will be fine)

  • heavy cream substitute: Mix 2/3 cup unsweetened soy milk + 1/3 cup Olive Oil

  • 1 lb. whole-wheat pasta of your choice

  • fresh Basil leaves (for serving)

  • parmesan Cheese/alt. cheese/nutritional yeast (for serving)

  • kosher salt for pasta water


  1. Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and heat over high. Heavily toss in salt (At least 1/2 cup) and bring to a boil while you do the other prep-work.

  2. Peel onion and finely chop.

  3. Peel each garlic and smash each one flat with your knife.

  4. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil (or eyeball it) in a wide stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, just until onion is starting to brown around the edges.

  5. Add entire 4.5-oz. tube tomato paste and 1 tsp. red pepper flakes. Continue to cook, stirring often, until paste is deep red and starting to brown and sticking to the bottom of the pot.

  6. Add 1/4 cup of vodka, stir to incorporate while scraping the bottom of pot. Reduce heat to low.

  7. With a heat-safe cup measurer, scoop 1/4 cup of pasta water and add it to a bowl with the (2/3 soy milk + 1/3 Olive Oil) mixture. Stir well and make sure all three liquids are combined.

  8. Slowly add the heavy cream replacement to the pot of sauce, stirring constantly, until a smooth sauce forms. Simmer on low for 10-15 minutes

  9. Add 1 lb. of pasta to pot of boiling salted water and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Save 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining the rest of liquid from pasta.

  10. Before adding the pasta, mix in 1/2 cup of pasta water into the sauce, then incorporate pasta, stirring until fully coated. If sauce needs to be thinned out, add some more soy milk. Add salt to taste if necessary.

  11. Top pasta with your choice of cheese: parmesan, vegan, nutritional yeast.

  12. Plate and serve with fresh basil leaves.

By using tomato paste and cooking it compared to using fresh tomato, we increase our bodies ability to absorb the tomatoes antioxidants and other benefits. The abundant amount of onions and garlic in this dish is also great for maintaining our immune systems. When Vodka is added to the mix, new flavors are brought into the tomatoes further binding the sauce and its flavors together. Vodka also provides some added health benefits as well such as being antibacterial and stimulating digestion.