Creamy, rich, slightly spicy and sweet, vodka pasta went viral for good reason! Even better, this restaurant-quality dish is ready in under 30 minutes.
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Cook the pasta in a saucepan of boiling, salted water, following packet directions, or until al dente. Drain. Return to the pan and keep warm.
Meanwhile, cut the chorizo in half lengthways. Peel away skin and discard. Coarsely chop meat.
Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan over medium heat. Add chorizo and cook, stirring, for 3-5 mins or until browned. Add shallots, chilli and garlic and cook for 1-2 mins or until soft. Add the tomatoes, vodka and cream and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 mins or until the sauce thickens slightly. Season. Add the cooked pasta and parsley and toss to combine.
Divide evenly among serving bowls. Sprinkle with parmesan and extra parsley to serve.
Swap it: To make this recipe alcohol free, swap the vodka for 1/3 cup (80ml) of chicken stock.
COOK. STORE. SAVE
Clever storage: Store leftover unpeeled garlic cloves in a cool, dark place with air circulation (not in an airtight container or plastic bag) for up to 3 weeks.
Recently made viral on TikTok by model Gigi Hadid, the origins of vodka pasta are unclear, with Italy and America both claiming it as their dish. The creamy orange sauce is made from shallots, garlic, tomatoes, cream, chilli flakes and vodka – and it is slightly sweet, slightly savoury and aromatic, with a bit of heat. Vodka is used to enhance the flavours and prevent the sauce from splitting. This is a good recipe to choose when you want to cook with other people – whip it up as a fun date night activity or make it together with some friends for a relaxing night in.
Here are some tips for making this recipe:
Cheap vodka works well for the vodka pasta sauce.
The sauce is the star here, so you need pasta that can hold a lot of sauce within its grooves and crevices – try rigatoni, fusilli, penne, macaroni, farfalle or casarecce.
Choose the best cheese: parmesan or pecorino bring the nutty and fruity flavour that adds another dimension to the sauce.
Reserve a cup of water when you drain the pasta. You may want to use this to loosen the sauce if needed.
Once the pasta and sauce is plated up, taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Don’t add too much salt to the sauce if you are planning to store it for a few days before serving it, as the sauce will become more flavoursome over time. Season just before serving.
Vodka pasta can be served with fresh bread or garlic bread to mop up the leftover sauce. A simple salad or roasted broccoli is also great to help balance out the richer flavours of the sauce. Finally, pair it with a glass of your favourite red wine.
To store leftover sauce, allow it to cool down to room temperature, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To freeze, transfer the sauce to a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge, then reheat in a pan, gently whisking the sauce until it is back to its original consistency.
This pasta with vodka sauce is so easy to make and is guaranteed to win over many. There’s a good reason why it went viral! You may like to try this other viral recipe for spaghetti lasgane, or check out these other quick and tasty recipes for speedy pumpkin and burnt butter pasta and Michael Weldon’s creamy spinach spaghetti.