Penne with Vodka Sauce

Penne with Vodka Sauce

Sometimes I don’t plan meals on the weekends and wait until the last minute to decide what to cook GASP! Yesterday was one of those days. I went to the kitchen having no clue what I was about to make and I already had two kids asking me about it.

I had to think fast.

Boxes of pasta were staring me in the face and while I would have given anything for a jar of store-bought sauce in the pantry, I was out of luck. It was me and a can of crushed tomatoes. And I finally got inspired.

The dream is to jar my pasta sauces and share them with the world. But until then, I’ll keep throwing things together and sharing them here in hopes that your family enjoys them too. šŸ™‚

This dish is super simple and really delicious. The best part – you’ll have a satisfying dinner on the table in under thirty minutes! And you didn’t use a jar of sauce. Let’s go…




Torn fresh basil and fresh grated parmesan really set this dish off. My niece requested a second helping (yay!) and told me it tasted better than a restaurant (tears!). I had leftovers on this rainy day for lunch and it was just as good, if not better the second day.

If you need the meats, go for it! Add some chicken or ground beef or pork. Maybe meatballs? Whatever you like best šŸ™‚


If you make this penne with vodka sauce SHOW ME! Tag #mybusykitchen and I’ll share your posts!

Thank you for stopping by My Busy Kitchen! – Tiffany


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Penne Pasta with Vodka Sauce
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
Course: Main Course
Author: Tiffany - My Busy Kitchen
  • 12 oz penne pasta
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan (1/4 cup for sauce, 1/4 cup for topping)
  • handful fresh torn basil
  • salt & pepper
  1. Boil penne according to package directions to al dente. Mine took about 12 minutes.

  2. While pasta is boiling:

    In a large skillet, melt butter and saute the minced garlic and crushed red pepper for about 2 minutes.

  3. Add the vodka and cook 4 minutes until the vodka cooks down to about half.

  4. Add crushed tomatoes, onion powder, oregano and salt & pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp of each). Stir to combine and cook 4 minutes.

  5. Add the half and half. Stir to thoroughly combine and cook 3 more minutes.

  6. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of pasta water in case your sauce becomes too thick at the end. Add penne to the skillet and toss to combine with the sauce. 

  7. Add 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and 1/2 the torn basil and gently stir to combine.

  8. Serve hot! Top with additional parmesan and basil.

    This dish warms up great for leftovers!


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