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side view shot of a serving spoon taking a scoop of pasta alla vodka from a pot
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4.5 from 28 votes

Pasta alla Vodka

This Pasta alla Vodka is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner with an easy and creamy tomato and vodka sauce, topped with bacon and Parmesan cheese!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: pasta alla vodka, pasta recipe
Servings: 6
Calories: 524kcal


  • 12 ounce pasta I used mini shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 14 ounce tomato puree (1 can)
  • 1 cup half and half or heavy cream
  • 6 slices bacon chopped and fried
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley for garnish


  • Cook pasta: Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain in a colander and rinse it under cold water to stop it from cooking any further. Reserve some of the pasta water, just in case we need it to thin out the sauce.
  • Make vodka sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until it softens and becomes translucent.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds until it becomes aromatic.
  • Add the vodka, stir and cook for a couple minutes until the almost all of the vodka has cooked down. Stir in the nutmeg, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  • Add the tomato puree to the skillet, then stir in the half and half or heavy cream. Bring to a boil.
  • Stir in pasta: Stir in the cooked pasta, bacon and the Parmesan cheese. If the sauce is too thick and the pasta has soaked up all the sauce, add some of the reserved pasta water.
  • Garnish and serve: Garnish with parsley and serve.



Half and half is equal parts whole milk and light cream and it usually averages 10 to 12% fat, which is usually less than light cream. 
Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze this in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Nutrition: Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.


Calories: 524kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 454mg | Potassium: 570mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 690IU | Vitamin C: 10.6mg | Calcium: 272mg | Iron: 2.2mg