Rating: 3.5 stars
105 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 36
  • 4 star values: 20
  • 3 star values: 11
  • 2 star values: 17
  • 1 star values: 21
  • 105 Ratings

Say hello to your new favorite pasta recipe. This one hits all the good notes: creamy, spicy, rich, and saucy. Vodka does more than just add a little booze to the mix—it marries the disparate elements, bringing together the caramelized shallots and garlic with the bright tomato paste and the decadent cream. This makes a big batch, perfect for cold weather dinner parties fueled by red wine and slow-burning candles. Psst…If you want to swap in a different pasta for what you have on hand, make sure to use one that has ridges (like penne) to sop up the sauce.


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

40 mins
25 mins
Serves 6


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Cook pasta in a large pot of generously salted water according to package directions for al dente; before draining, ladle 1 cup pasta water into a large, heatproof bowl. Drain cooked pasta. Whisk cream into reserved pasta water. Set aside.

  • Melt butter with oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium. Add shallots and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring often, until tomato paste starts to darken, 3 to 4 minutes. Add vodka; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.

  • Reduce heat to low and add reserved cream mixture, several grinds of black pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Stir until combined, about 1 minute; add pasta and toss to coat. Serve topped with several more grinds of black pepper.