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Getting Saucy: Penne alla Vodka (serves 4-6)

Getting Saucy: Penne alla Vodka (serves 4-6)

Photo courtesy of Peter Soucy

This week’s recipe is Penne alla Vodka. This is a recipe I put together from some Munchies and Eater videos. In my version I used Burnett’s as my vodka because it was the only leftover vodka I had in my house, but you can use whatever vodka you want. If you want to be bougie and use Grey Goose, go ahead. It will probably taste exactly the same. This dish uses heavy cream but it’s still fresh-tasting and deceptively easy to make. Use it to impress your friends or lovers. 


1 lb penne

3 cloves of garlic, diced

1 medium yellow onion diced

Red pepper flakes, to taste

1 tube of tomato paste (4.5 oz.)

1 shot of vodka

8 oz. heavy cream (Don’t use half-and-half or the sauce will split)

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Start the water for your pasta and salt liberally. Cook the sauce and pasta at the same time and save half a cup of pasta water when draining.

  2. In a large pot, saute the garlic, onion and red pepper flakes on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until everything is translucent but not browning (about 5-7 minutes).

  3. Add the tomato paste and stir constantly for 3-5 minutes.

  4. When the tomato paste starts sticking to the bottom of the pot, add the shot of vodka to help loosen it up. Cook until vodka is evaporated (about 3-5 minutes).

  5. Add the heavy cream and stir until fully combined. It should be the classic orange color of alla vodka sauce now. Lower the heat.

  6. Add the pasta and saved pasta water into the sauce stirring until the pasta is fully coated.

  7. Serve with parmesan cheese and basil or parsley if you have them. (Note: Be sure to salt and pepper as you go!)

Humans of Hofstra: Kirsten Rickershauser

Humans of Hofstra: Kirsten Rickershauser

Club Spotlight: Planting seeds for change with LEAF

Club Spotlight: Planting seeds for change with LEAF