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Penne Alla Vodka

Chow Ciao
Chow Ciao
August 20, 2012

Fabio and Lou Diamond Phillips rock the kitchen with PENNE ALLA VODKA, featuring a flavourful, simple sauce made in less than 20 minutes. When the spirits start flowing, the flavour and the fun get rolling.


  • Penne 101: Penne is perfect for dishes where the sauce is the star! The hollow centre fills with sauce, and the angular ends act as simple scoops.
  • Cooking with Booze 101: Use alcohol to awaken dormant flavours and enhance them. Vodka is a good ingredient because it imparts depth without flavouring (the way wine would.) Igniting a bit of vodka helps caramelize your sauce. All of the alcohol will never burn off, but most of it will. Make sure to reduce to avoid an overwhelming boozy taste.
  • Vodka cream sauce is an extremely versatile sauce and goes great on almost anything. Remember when cooking that vodka lowers the boiling point in cream and cheese sauces.

Penne alla Vodka

Recipe by Fabio Viviani

Yields: 2-servings


1/2 lb. dry penne pasta

1 tbsp. of butter

½ cup chopped onion

fresh ground black pepper, to taste

½ cup 100-proof vodka

1 cup 100-proof vodka

1 cup heavy cream

3 cups Fabio's Marinara Sauce

Parmesan cheese, grated


Cook penne pasta in boiling salted water to al dente.

Melt butter in sauté pan.

Add chopped onion and cracked black pepper, and caramelize.

Add ½ cup of the vodka to the pan and flambé.

When alcohol has cooked off, add pasta to sauté pan.

Add cracked pepper and remaining 1 cup vodka to pasta and onions; combine and reduce.

Add cream to pan; combine and reduce.

Add marinara to pan; combine and reduce.

Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.


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