Vodka Sauce

  • ACTIVE: 10 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 3 cups (enough for 1 pound of pasta)

Vodka adds a spicy flavor to this popular Italian American sauce.

slideshow  More Italian Dishes


  1. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 2 ounces pancetta, diced
  3. 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  4. 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  5. 1/4 cup vodka
  6. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  7. One 35-ounce can whole peeled Italian tomatoes with their juices, crushed by hand
  8. Pinch of sugar
  9. 2 basil sprigs
  10. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  11. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Sauté the pancetta, garlic and crushed red pepper over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Deglaze with vodka. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the canned tomatoes with their juices. Stir in the sugar and basil, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer the sauce over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and is reduced to 3 cups, about 30 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper. Discard the basil sprigs and garlic. Add heavy cream and simmer for 5 minutes
Make Ahead
The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.