Spicy Vodka Pasta Recipe

Rating 5.0
| 3
Spicy vodka pasta is a piquant twist to the traditional vodka pasta. Creamy tomato sauce is paired with aromatic crushed red pepper flakes for a distinctively fiery sauce that can be adjusted to your taste.
Utensils Dinner
Globe Italian
Giselle is a recipe developer and content creator that loves all things sweet and savory. She runs her own food blog, The Busy Spatula, and her work has been featured on Yahoo!, Marvel Studios and the Kitchn.


2 tblsp
extra-virgin olive oil
onion, finely diced
garlic cloves, minced
1/2 - 1 tsp
crushed red pepper flakes, see notes
2 tblsp
tomato paste
1/4 cup(s)
one 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 cup(s)
reserved pasta water, divided
1/2 cup(s)
heavy cream
1/2 cup(s)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1-2 tsp
sugar, if needed
1 tblsp
unsalted butter
12 oz
dried rotini, fusilli or penne
salt and pepper, to taste
minced fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions 9 steps | 30 Minutes

Step 1

Measure and prep all ingredients. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 

Step 3698 Shot
Step 2

While the water comes to a boil, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the finely diced onions and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes.

Step 3699 Shot
Step 3

Add the garlic and crushed pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. (See notes 1.)

Step 3700 Shot
Step 4

Add the tomato paste and cook until slightly toasted, about 1-2 minutes.

Step 3701 Shot
Step 5

Add the vodka to deglaze the pan and cook while stirring constantly for about 2-3 minutes.

Step 3702 Shot
Step 6

Stir in the crushed tomatoes and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the sauce while the pasta is cooking, about 8-10 minutes.

Step 3703 Shot
Step 7

Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining the pasta. Stir in ½ cup of pasta water, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. Simmer the saucefor about 1-2 minutes. Taste and add the sugar, if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3704 Shot
Step 8

Stir in the butter until it melts. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir to evenly coat the pasta with the sauce. Use the remaining pasta water to thin out the sauce if needed. 

Step 3705 Shot
Step 9

Top the pasta with more Parmesan cheese before serving. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Enjoy!

Step 3706 Shot


  1. If you like the pasta to be slightly spicy, add ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. If you want it to be spicy, add 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.

Nutrition Per Serving
View All
27.5 g
22.8 g
87.7 g


Leave a review or join the conversation.

Please Log In to leave a comment
Fred M.


29 Jul 2022

The perfect amount of spice paired with a rich creamy sauce!

Reply to this comment
Audrey H.


18 Jul 2022

I love a good vodka pasta and this one does not disappoint! If you aren't a fan of spicy food like me, you can just leave out the red pepper flakes and voila! Very easy to also add protein to this dish if you prefer!

Reply to this comment
Glen B.


11 Jul 2022

Make me want to cook pasta this week.

Reply to this comment