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Murray’s Creamy Vodka Sauce

Murray’s Creamy Vodka Sauce

A traditional Italian pasta blend
  • Murray’s Creamy Vodka Sauce
  • Murray’s Creamy Vodka Sauce
  • Murray’s Creamy Vodka Sauce
Want an easy dish that’s guaranteed to impress? Penne alla vodka never fails. Creamy, decadent, and filled with bright tomato flavor, this classic Italian-American sauce is a tried and true crowd pleaser. Personally, we love getting things extra cheesy with a blend of nutty Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino, and combining these grated favorites with canned tomatoes, heavy cream, a hint of vodka, and plenty of spice to perfectly pair with some authentic penne pasta.

Murray’s Creamy Vodka Sauce
A traditional Italian pasta blend
  • Prep Time : 10 min
  • Cook Time : 20 min
  • Total Time : 30 min
  • Serves 4



  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the aromatic ingredients, beginning with the onions as they are the hardest to burn! Follow with the shallots and cook over medium heat until they begin to soften and turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Follow with the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir to combine, allowing the mixture to cook for another 3 minutes or so.
  2. Add the tomato paste and allow to cook until it begins to turn a deeper brick red, about 2 minutes. This will eradicate the raw tomato flavor and give the paste some caramelization.
  3. Increase the heat slightly and follow by adding the vodka and stirring until the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add the cans of tomatoes and cream. Stir to fully incorporate.
  5. Reduce the heat to low until there are just occasional bubbles simmering up to the top of the sauce. Cover partially and allow to reduce for 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, boil salted pasta water and cook until the pasta is very al dente. Remember that it will cook a bit more once we add it to the sauce so we want to make sure it doesn’t end up overcooked!
  7. Reserve a cup of pasta cooking water before you drain the pot.
  8. Transfer the sauce to a blender or use an immersion blender to blend into a thinner, more homogenous mixture.
  9. Add the pasta to the saucepan over medium low heat along with the butter and the smooth sauce and fold to melt the butter and coat the pasta in the sauce.
  10. Add the pasta cooking water bit by bit until a thick glossy sauce has formed that clings to the pasta.
  11. Fold in the Parm and Pecorino, reserving some to garnish at the end.
  12. Top with grated cheese and torn basil to serve!

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