After rummaging through my cupboards for dinner inspiration (and failing), I turned to the Great Google God (GGG). I searched “tomatoes, vodka, heavy cream, onions” on a lark and ended up finding this offensively named recipe by Rachel Ray (seriously, horrible).


Yes, that is a hammer in the background. No, I don’t know why.

Despite finding such… icky inspiration, the fact that “vodka cream sauce” is a THING was actually new to me (Italian food was not a staple for me while growing up). So I Googled several recipes, tweaked a bunch, and ended up with a really lovely, brightly flavored dish.


The key here is to reduce the living daylights out of it. And keep on reducing. And reducing. And. Yeah.


Tomato Cream Sauce with Vodka
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Lighter than Alfredo, but more comforting than marinara, this vodka/cream/tomato sauce is a palate pleaser.
Recipe type: Pasta Sauce
Cuisine: Italian-ish
Serves: 6
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Tablespoons squeeze-bottle garlic
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups vodka
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 6 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons squeeze-bottle basil
  • 2 lbs thick pasta (penne, rotini, etc)
  1. Combine olive oil, butter, garlic, and onions in a large saucepan and cook until onions have softened (5-10 minutes).
  2. Add in vodka and simmer until reduced by half. Stir occasionally.
  3. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and honey.
  4. Reduce, reduce, reduce by simmering for about 20 minutes or until reduced by about ⅔. Stir often and do not allow to burn. This is a good time to start the pasta and make a side dish (we usually have garlic bread).
  5. Stir in cream and basil until sauce just begins to bubble, then remove from heat.
  6. Serve over pasta and enjoy!



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Founder at Wendt Creative
Cat loves to eat tasty homemade things, yet isn’t terribly fond of the process of making them. She prefers recipes that take shortcuts when possible – without compromising flavor. Her dog, Cheeto, likes stealing her creations from the dining room table.

She lives in the Bay Area and cites her diverse background as her biggest influence: her visual artist mom is half-Chinese, half-Greek, and from Hawai’i; her film-loving, world-music curating dad is from Montana; and she lived in both California and Montana while growing up. She loves at least a little bit about virtually everything (Pokémon Snap included) and aims to be a Jane of all trades. By day Cat is a multiple-hat-wearing media person.

She is also allergic to felines.
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