Penne alla vodka

Total Time
30 min
15 min
15 min
For many, penne alla vodka is a classic '80s pasta dish, yet it still makes people swoon since it hits all the right flavor notes. With its creamy tomato sauce that's spiked with just a splash of vodka, it looks and tastes sinfully rich but actually isn’t. Our version lightens things up by utilizing reduced-calorie margarine and reduced-sodium chicken broth instead of lots of butter, as well as both plum and fresh tomatoes for lots of texture. Even if it’s loaded with restaurant-style sophistication, it’s incredibly easy to make and comes together in just half an hour. And, yes, that’s real cream on the ingredients list. We've come a long way, baby!


Uncooked penne pasta

2 cup(s)

Reduced-calorie margarine

2 Tbsp

Uncooked shallot(s)

1 medium, finely chopped

Plum tomato(es)

1 medium, peeled and chopped

Reduced-sodium chicken broth

¼ cup(s)

Canned tomato paste

1 Tbsp

Crushed red pepper flakes

¼ tsp

Heavy whipping cream

¼ cup(s)


1 fl oz, 2 Tbsp

Fresh tomato(es)

¼ cup(s), diced

Fresh parsley

2 Tbsp, flat-leaf, minced

Grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp, freshly grated


  1. Cook the penne according to package directions; drain and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the margarine in a medium nonstick skillet, then add the shallot and tomato. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomato paste, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, then add the cream and vodka. Cook, stirring constantly, until just heated through (do not boil). Pour the sauce over the penne and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the diced tomato, cheese, and parsley and serve at once. Yields 3/4 cup per serving.