Easy Vodka Sauce Pasta is a perfect dinner idea, whether it’s Sunday dinner, holiday celebration, Valentine’s Day dinner, or just a dinner for two. This amazing creamy vodka pasta dish will make you feel like you are in pasta heaven!
And as a bonus won’t have to travel to Italy to enjoy a really good Pasta in Vodka Sauce. Because if you are reading this, you can EASILY make a great Vodka Sauce in your own kitchen.
In my search for how to make this vodka sauce a la Bolognese, I discovered that there is no single recipe of Bolognese Sauce, but the basic ingredients include meat, tomato sauce and pasta. I used sausage as the meat and made from scratch creamy vodka sauce as the sauce.
What pasta works best in vodka sauce?
I chose Rigatoni for pasta here (it’s tube-shaped and larger than penne – perfect for the thick meat sauce!) and added mushrooms and fresh basil.
What does vodka sauce taste like?
The taste is quite meaty and creamy, but at the same time very delicate and aromatic! You will enjoy it.
And besides, I think you will appreciate all the layering of flavors (vodka, cream, garlic and Italian spices), the simplicity of ingredients (mushrooms, sausage and pasta), and the amazing smell in the kitchen!
Nothing in this Pasta in Vodka Sauce with Sausage dish tastes overbearing or under seasoned. This is a fantastic and incredibly tasty bolognese meat sauce to go with your pasta.
I promise, you will love this dish, spiced up with all that vodka flavor. It’s elegant, easy to make and fills your house with incredible aromas. Let me tell you – sausage rigatoni here taste amazing.
After making this vodka sauce from scratch, I still cannot believe how easy it is to make home-made vodka pasta sauce, and how much superior in taste it is to the one bought in store. I will never go back to a jarred sauce ever again!
And don’t be concerned about the taste of vodka. You can’t taste the harshness of the vodka, it is simply there to enhance the flavors, just like the wine does.
My father hoped to taste vodka in this recipe after I told him that it contained it, but in vain. His main comment after finishing the dish was: “It has a nice spice to it, but why can’t I taste vodka in this? Did you put it in?” Vodka here just adds a touch of heat to help balance out the sweetness of the tomatoes and the cream.
How to Make Creamy Vodka Sauce
- I highly recommend to use sea or kosher salt in this creamy vodka sauce as it lends a more refined taste than regular table salt, has no additives and is saltier.
- And do not rinse your pasta before adding it to your sauce. Pasta water is starchy, which helps the sauce cling to the noodle.
- Once meat and mushrooms are cooked, reduce heat (or even remove pan from heat) and add ½ cup vodka to the pan, in a steady stream, VERY SLOWLY.
- Increase heat to medium high to reduce vodka by cooking for 2 or 3 minutes.
- Add 1 cup chicken broth and 1 can (32 oz) tomatoes.
- Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Stir cream into sauce and simmer on low heat.
When the sauce cooks with sausage, mushrooms, garlic, onions and tomatoes and of course, vodka, in it (see details in the recipe box), it will look like A LOT OF SAUCE!
But wait, once you add pasta – you will think you didn’t have enough. To finish sauce preparation, cream and basil is added to the mixture at the very end, right before mixing it with pasta.
With this Pasta in Vodka Sauce with Sausage recipe, you can skip the restaurant and make the best vodka sauce at home!
If you are in a mood to make more pasta dishes with alcohol, this time with wine instead of vodka, I have a variety of recipes on this site for you to enjoy:
- Chicken Pasta in Creamy White Wine Parmesan Cheese Sauce
- Pasta Da Vinci (Cheesecake Factory’s copycat recipe)
- Chicken in Mustard and Wine Sauce
Easy Vodka Sauce Pasta
- 10 oz rigatoni or penne pasta
- 1.5 pound pork sausage
Creamy Vodka Sauce:
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 10 oz package of mushrooms, sliced
- ½ cup vodka
- 1 cup chicken broth, unsalted (if using not sodium free broth, adjust salt to taste)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 20 leaves fresh basil, torn
- Parmesan, optional
- Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons butter, 4 cloves of minced garlic, and 1 chopped onion. Gently saute onions and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness.
- Add 10 oz of sliced mushrooms, cook for 2-3 minutes until mushrooms release their moisture. Add 1.5 pound of pork sausage, breaking it down with a fork. Cook sausage for 3 minutes, until it’s broken down in nice little chunks. It doesn’t have to be cooked through. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning and mix well into the skillet.
- VODKA SAUCE: Reduce heat (or even remove pan from heat) and add ½ cup vodka to the pan, in a steady stream, VERY SLOWLY. Increase heat to medium high to reduce vodka by cooking for 2 or 3 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken broth and 1 can (32 oz) tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Stir cream into sauce and simmer on low heat, while pasta is cooking (next step).
- PASTA: While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente.
- Now back to the skillet with sauce. Add about 20 fresh basil leaves and cook for an additional minute, then remove skillet from heat.
- Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce. Taste and add more seasoning, if necessary.
- Serve in bowls with a few leaves of basil sprinkled on top and more freshly grated Parmesan, to taste.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only. This information comes from online calculators. Although whatsinthepan.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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So good! Any recommendations on how to make the sauce thicker? Pretty soupy…
I like to use 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of rice flower (due to its starch content). Regular flour will do as well. You can also use cheese (Parmesan for example).
I loved this sauce and received many compliments on it. I did make a enough to freeze some and used it later and it tasted great. Now I am ready to make another batch.
Wow!!! I am so happy you are ready to make this again!
Kerry Ferguson says
Would this work with ground chicken?
Would this sauce be good made the day ahead of time? Reheat and add pasta at time of eating?
I believe the stuff that gets missed here is that the sausage probably should be cooked separately and then added. The grease that comes from your sausage cook is overwhelming. We ended up putting our sauce in the refrigerator overnight soaking the grease off of the top with multiple paper towel changes and then reheated the sauce and out of the basil the next night. It’s still slightly greasy but next time I’ll drain it. That should be a step it’s in this recipe that’s not.
Fair comment, sausage tends to be excessively fatty. I am highly aware of it every time I cook it for breakfast. I will update it.
Excellent sauce…have shared with many
Friends who also love it!
I double the recipe and it always is perfect.
Great to hear about doubling!!! Just had this same sauce tonight.
Flavor is good but diced tomatoes would have been better than crushed tomatoes. My sauce is extremely soupy and needs more texture.
David Charyn says
Do you add the tomato juice as well? Or just the crushed tomatoes?
My sauce is VERY “wet”. I will simmer it down until its more like a stew.
My crushed tomatoes were pretty thick. I just used another can recently in the chili recipe and chili came through thick as well. Was your can mostly liquid?
Tim Nacrelli says
I like the way you put your recipes together. The vodka sauce will be tried tonight.
Thank you! I hope you enjoyed the vodka sauce.