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This vegan pasta alla vodka recipe, a deliciously creamy, tomato vodka sauce swirled into pasta, is the midweek dinner idea you didn't know you needed.

This vegan pasta alla vodka recipe, a deliciously creamy, tomato vodka sauce swirled into pasta, is the midweek dinner idea you didn’t know you needed. But you most definitely do need. Especially if you want a home-cooked, restaurant-style meal in less than 30 minutes.

This vegan pasta alla vodka recipe, a deliciously creamy, tomato vodka sauce swirled into pasta, is the midweek dinner idea you didn't know you needed.

Pasta alla vodka with crispy panko-eggplant

Vodka? On a weekday?

Have you ever tried vodka sauce with pasta? If so, I bet you love it. On the rare occasion I’m out at an Italian restaurant I sometimes order this dish. I totally adore the creamy, brick-red sauce with its subtle kick. Here in Scotland it is often studded with morsels of smoked salmon. Gorgeous.

But you might have seen pasta alla vodka (or, more likely, penne alla vodka) on a menu and thought, “Nah. That sounds like a waste of vodka/a gimmick.” To which I would answer back, “No, it isn’t.” On both counts.

This vegan pasta alla vodka recipe, a deliciously creamy, tomato vodka sauce swirled into pasta, is the midweek dinner idea you didn't know you needed.

sautรฉed baby Brussels sprouts and garlic chips

Or, you may be concerned that you won’t be able to eat and drive. Please don’t worry. My vegan pasta alla vodka only calls for a small amount of the hard stuff. A few tablespoons for a whole recipe serving four. Besides, the alcohol cooks out, leaving a deeply-flavoured, cream-tempered tomato sauce. You do not, I repeat not, taste the vodka.

So, what does the vodka add? The vodka acts as a solvent to help unlock otherwise inaccessible flavours in the tomatoes. It both sweetens them up a bit and lends – I think – a little hint of citrus. It also cuts through and balances the usual heavy/double cream and parmesan cheese. I find it adds a certain indefinable “bite.” If you’ve not tried vodka sauce before, I really think you should. Even just to see if I’m talking rubbish!

I promise I’m not. ๐Ÿ™‚

This vegan pasta alla vodka recipe, a deliciously creamy, tomato vodka sauce swirled into pasta, is the midweek dinner idea you didn't know you needed.A versatile, simple recipe

And so, a dish with few ingredients, certainly one that has you reaching for seconds, relies on top-notch ingredients cooked with love and care.

Even still, it’s hard to believe how just a few simple – and quality – store cupboard bits and bobs can metamorphose into a most sublime pasta dinner. Okay, vodka might not be quite store cupboard for you, but no doubt your pantry has dry pasta, tomato puree, fresh onions and garlic, as well as good olive oil. Oh, and chilli flakes too. If you want to make it with a tin of tomatoes, go for it. That’s the norm anyway. I pinched the idea of using just best quality tomato paste (Petti brand if you can find it) from Bon Appetit magazine. It’s a keeper of an idea too. I use just over half of a 200 gram tube, so you might just have that amount lurking in your fridge already.

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Vegan vodka sauce pasta is heavenly as is, but peppered throughout this post you’ll see a few super-easy topping ideas. I’ve limited myself here to just three, but this is a hugely versatile recipe, so make it your own. Like my recent Baked Frittata recipe, this pasta dish can be titivated with whatever needs using up in the vegetable drawer. And if you don’t have or don’t fancy vodka, you could, in a pinch, sub in dry white wine. But for the reasons outlined above, my vote is for vodka. The good stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚

This vegan pasta alla vodka recipe, a deliciously creamy, tomato vodka sauce swirled into pasta, is the midweek dinner idea you didn't know you needed.

burst tomatoes with crispy oil-cured black olives

What makes this vegan pasta alla vodka different?

A classic pasta alla vodka is made with dairy cream. And it is delicious this way. A bit heavy for me, but really delectable. To use up some cream I had for something catering-related, I recently made it “the proper way” – which shocked (and delighted) Andrew. Afterwards, with a full, queasy belly, I felt that this is one of those dishes where, if the technique was right, it could successfully be made vegan. And actually pretty wholesome, too.

And, do you know the secret I found to keeping it simple yet whole food? Oats. Yes, oats. Instead of delicious but artery-clogging cream, for my vegan pasta alla vodka recipe you will be making some blender oat cream. You can buy some of course, but it is very easy to make at home. Just pop the very few ingredients into a blender/Nutribullet and, in 15 seconds, cream. No soaking, or faff. But feel free to use whatever cream you wish. Cow, oat, almond, cashew – whatever you fancy.

This vegan pasta alla vodka recipe, a deliciously creamy, tomato vodka sauce swirled into pasta, is the midweek dinner idea you didn't know you needed.Whether or not you are vegan, if you like pasta and “red sauce”, you will love this easy, nutritious recipe. As written this recipe is high in fibre, iron and potassium. It will still be fab using white pasta and quick oats, but just not as nutritious.

Because this is so easy, I will just let you get on down to reading the recipe and hopefully making this for dinner.

 

So, have you had pasta alla vodka before? Do you think the vodka makes a difference? What toppings take your fancy? Or, do you like it da solo?

Recent Italian-inspired recipes from Food To Glow…

vegan mushroom piccata for dinner in cast iron skillet with artichokes

vegan mushroom piccata by food to glow

Fancy some more slightly Italian-inspired recipes? Why not try my recent {pictured above} Vegan Mushroom Piccata recipe? How about my Sicilian Kale Pesto Pasta? Or maybe my {Venetian-inspired} Artichoke and Spinach Polpette with Easy Marinara Sauce with bonus Venice travel post? Let me know if any of these intrigue. ๐Ÿ™‚

**Remember toย follow me on Pinterestย and, if you make myย Vegan Pasta alla Vodka, click on the pin at the bottom and leave a photo of your make with a comment telling me what you think, or any awesome changes that you made. Similarly, any Instagram posts tagged @food_to_glow using my recipes will go on my Story if I see them. Iโ€™m always so proud when you share my recipes with the world. Yay!!!

Whether on Pinterest,ย Instagram,ย Facebook,ย Twitterย or of course here on the blog, Iย loveย to see what you do with my recipes, and I welcome your comments, star ratings, tweaks and suggestions.ย 

Also, if youโ€™ve made/intend to make this recipe, please do consider rating it as it will make this recipe more visible on search engines. To do so, click the appropriate star underneath the small photo on the recipe card, below. Thank you!**This vegan pasta alla vodka recipe, a deliciously creamy, tomato vodka sauce swirled into pasta, is the midweek dinner idea you didn't know you needed.

This vegan pasta alla vodka recipe, a deliciously creamy, tomato vodka sauce swirled into pasta, is the midweek dinner idea you didn't know you needed.
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Vegan Pasta alla Vodka

This Vegan Pasta alla Vodka recipe, a deliciously creamy tomato vodka sauce swirled into pasta, is the healthy midweek dinner idea you didn't know you needed. But you most definitely do need. The alcohol cooks out, but you are left with a bright, tomato-enhancing sauce.

Course DInner
Cuisine Italian, vegan
Keyword pasta alla vodka, vodka sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 395 kcal
Author kellie anderson

Ingredients

  • 50 g wholegrain oats
  • 110 ml oat milk or almond milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 ml warm water
  • 2 tsp organic rapeseed or other neutral oil don't use US-produced rapeseed oil
  • 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus extra if liked
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tps chilli flakes more to taste
  • 125 g double concentrated tomato puree/paste
  • 60 ml vodka or dry white wine
  • 50 g grated hard Italian style vegan cheese optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 200 g wholewheat pasta more, as liked

Instructions

  1. First of all make the oat cream if it isn't purchased. Add the oats, oat milk, water, salt and oil to a high speed blender and process until completely smooth. Set aside. You won't be using it all, so have some in coffee! It will keep for a couple of days in the fridge - shake it before using.

  2. Cook the pasta according to directions - bear in mind that you will be using some of the pasta water to thin the sauce.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over a medium heat; add the onions, garlic, rosemary and chilli flakes. Sautรฉ for five minutes.

  4. Squeeze in the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until it starts to stick a bit on the bottom - about five minutes.

  5. Deglaze the pan with the vodka, stirring out any tomatoey lumps. Turn down the heat.

  6. Take out about 100 mls (1/2 cup) of pasta water from the boiling pasta and pour into a heatproof jug. Now add 180 ml (3/4 cup) of the oat cream, stirring with a fork or whisk to amalgamate - it may seem a bit stringy at first, but it will blend to a cream. Or you could blend it in your blender of course. If using dairy cream, cut the pasta water back to 1/4 cup (60 ml).

  7. Add the oat cream-water to the tomato sauce and stir well. Add in the grated cheese, if using. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if you wish. 

  8. Bring the sauce back up to the gentlest of simmers and add cooked, drained pasta. Stir well to combine. If the sauce seems a little thick, add more pasta water or hot water, or even olive oil. Every piece of pasta should be coated in the glossy, terracotta-tinted sauce.

  9. Serve divided between four bowls, topping with extra cheese, some olive oil, more chilli, and parsley if you like. Or, try one of the topping suggestion below. Or a combination of them.

Topping Ideas - shown in the post above

  1. 1 Brussels sprouts and garlic chips. Halve baby Brussels sprouts (or shred some kale) and stir fry in hot olive oil until softened; add thinly sliced garlic and cook until golden. 

    2 Eggplant and panko crumbs. Dice one half of a medium-sized eggplant and sautรฉ in oil until starting to brown. Add in a handful of breadcrumbs or panko crumbs as well as chilli flakes, and cook until golden, stirring .

    3 Burst tomatoes and olives. Heat olive oil and when hot add washed cherry tomatoes, cooking until they start to burst. Add in torn oil-cured black olives and cook until slightly crisped.

Recipe Notes

This recipe may be reheated. Do so gently, adding in a splash of water and mixing well.ย 

ย 

There plenty of vegan creams on the market, but this homemade oat one is so easy that it's worth a try. Make it suitable for sweet foods by adding a little pure vanilla extract.

ย 

Vegan cheeses are often hit or miss. If you don't like what's available to you, use nutritional yeast (about 1/4 cup), or skip it all together. If you skip it I would recommend adding a few smashed, pitted oil-cured black olives to up the flavour. Or even add it to the cheese version! But mind the extra sodium.

ย 

This recipe was inspired by the tomato paste-based vodka sauces over on Bon Appetit.ย 

RIPE FOR PINNING!

This vegan pasta alla vodka recipe, a deliciously creamy, tomato vodka sauce swirled into pasta, is the midweek dinner idea you didn't know you needed. #vegan #vodkasauce #pasta

 

10 thoughts on “Vegan Pasta Alla Vodka Recipe + Three Awesome Ways To Top It

  1. Mr A says:

    Nona would seriously approve – delicious

    1. Yummy!!!๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’› I love this, and that adding brusselsprouts ..mmm.. im drooling๐Ÿคค

  2. Yummy! I love this! Im drooling ..๐Ÿคค

  3. Still haven’t tried alla vodka pasta, but it looks incredible!!! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  4. Rachel Anderson says:

    You had me at โ€œvodkaโ€ ๐Ÿ˜‰ Love how you photograph and suggest different toppings, like in all your recipes. It shows how much you care about your recipes and the readers taste! Love it!

  5. Great post ๐Ÿ˜„

  6. Iโ€™m very excited about this recipe because apart from looking and sounding delicious, Iโ€™ve always wanted to buy a bottle of vodka because they always have such beautiful graphics & bottle designs! This sounds the perfect reason to buy one!

  7. Emily B says:

    Loved this recipe โ€“ and so did my friends. I topped it with the aubergines and panko breadcrumb mix โ€“ delicious. I want to try it again now with the brussels sprouts.

    1. kellie anderson says:

      Oh yay!! I’m SO happy you like it. Yes, try the Brussels sprouts next. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, Emily. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

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