• Sauce

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (measure this! don’t just do a pinch, carol)
  • 6 oz (170g) tomato paste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound fusilli
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • Assembly

  • 1 lb pasta (look for a shape that’s good at sauce grippin’)
  • Shrimp (Optional)

  • Gulp of olive oil
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 thinly sliced lemon
  • ¼ cup white vermouth
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes 🤏🏻
  • Parsley (if you want / got it)

Pasta alla Vodka 🍝


  1. Optional Shrimp 🦐

  2. Add shrimp to a medium bowl and toss with garlic and lemon slices.
  3. Heat oil and 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp mixture and toss 2-3 minutes; shrimp should be pink and opaque. Add a splash of vermouth, red pepper flakes, and a little salt (and some parsley if you want)
  4. Make Sauce Base 🥫

  5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes, cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until paste is brick red and starts to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add cream and stir until well blended. Season with salt and pepper; remove from heat.
  6. ✨ To prevent your garlic from burning while you’re caramelizing the tomato paste, whisk the garlic into the tomato paste - but like really make sure the two are combined, so the paste can be a buffer for the garlic

  7. Make Pasta & Mix Vodka 🍝

  8. In a medium pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until just shy of al dente, about 3 minutes less than the package directs. About 1 minute before you transfer pasta to sauce, add vodka to tomato sauce and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
  9. Combine 💪🏻

  10. Reserve ~1.5 cups pasta water, then drain pasta in a colander, then add to sauce with ½ cup of the reserved water. Increase heat to high, and cook, stirring constantly, until pasta is well coated in sauce and reaches the al dente stage, about 3 minutes. If sauce thickens too much before pasta is ready, add more pasta water in ¼ cup increments as needed.
  11. Cheese 🧀

  12. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until thoroughly incorporated into a smooth and creamy sauce. Taste for salt, and season with more if needed.

    ⚡️ Inspired By

    1. Bon Appetit Ingredients
    2. Serious Eat's Technique