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Vodka Pasta

Creamy tomato and vodka sauce with mild ground sausage, sweet caramelized onions, and just a touch of garlic in the background.


  • 12 ounces farfalle penne or rigatoni reserve 1 cup of starchy pasta water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil optional
  • 1 pound mild ground sausage
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • 1 medium sweet onion cut into large slivers
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes and cream
  • parmesan shavings for garnish optional


  • In a large stock pot bring water to a boil, and cook pasta just 2 minutes shorter than package recommendations for al dente time; right before draining, reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water; set aside, then drain pasta. In a deep skillet, begin to brown sausage. When sausage is about halfway done, add minced garlic and onions and cook until sausage is browned and crispy and onions are caramelized. Deglaze with vodka and stock. Add tomato paste, diced tomato, salt, and sugar. Increase heat if necessary to reduce liquid by half. When liquid has reduced, add cream, pasta, and starchy water; simmer on medium for 2 minutes, until pasta is tender and sauce has thickened. Garnish with parmesan shavings. Serve immediately.