Rating: 4.5 stars
71 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 55
  • 4 star values: 13
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 2

This is the incredibly easy and always popular vodka sauce. There are certain flavors in tomatoes that are only brought out if you introduce alcohol into the sauce.

Recipe Summary

15 mins
50 mins
5 mins
1 hr 10 mins
6 servings


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Cook and stir bacon and rosemary sprig with olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat until bacon renders its fat but is not crisp, about 5 minutes. Pour vodka into the skillet, standing back to avoid any flare-ups. Raise heat to high and continue to cook until the vodka reduces to about 2 tablespoons.

  • Pour heavy cream into skillet, stir briefly, and add black pepper; bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook and stir until sauce has slightly reduced, 3 to 4 minutes. Mix marinara sauce and water into cream mixture and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and simmer sauce 20 to 25 minutes to blend flavors.

  • Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Stir in penne and return to a boil. Cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but still chewy, about 10 minutes; drain and return to pot. Pour sauce over penne and stir to combine. Turn off heat, cover pot with a lid, and let stand 5 minutes for pasta to absorb sauce. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Cook's Note:

Feel free to use bacon if you don't have pancetta.

Nutrition Facts

602 calories; protein 15.9g; carbohydrates 68.4g; fat 25.1g; cholesterol 48.2mg; sodium 790.9mg. Full Nutrition