Vodka Sauce

After my exciting and carefully laid-out plans to have leftover soup for dinner fell through, we needed to come up with a filling meal quickly. I once saw someone make vodka sauce, and thought it would go well with the gnocchi we had sitting in the cupboard. I’d tried vodka sauce in the past, and sometimes it worked and sometimes, well, not so much. Tonight it worked. This is what we did.


  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1 TBSP flour
  • 1/2 cup cream or milk
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce

Heat the oil in a cast-iron or other flame-proof wide-mouthed pan. Add the garlic and fry for a minute, or until it starts to brown and smell roasted. Pour in the vodka (yes, it will bubble), and immediately – and carefully – set a match to the side of the pan to ignite the vodka. Let burn, swirling the pan gently, until all the vodka has burned off. Add the tomatoes and saute for a minute.

Stir in the flour, mixing thoroughly until very smooth, and then slowly pour in the cream. Stir constantly to keep the mixture from catching, until it boils. It should get quite thick. Mix in the tomato sauce, and taste for salt. Add more cream, milk or water as needed if the vodka sauce it too thick. Serve hot over pasta, gnocchi, or other food of your choosing.


4 thoughts on “Vodka Sauce

    • When I first saw someone make this, he thickened the sauce before adding the tomatoes, so that’s what I’ve always done. Because this is a creamy sauce, it stops it from being too thin for the pasta. The original version of this just called for diced tomatoes, but I found it wasn’t tomato-y enough for me, so I added a bit of pasta sauce. Next time I may try this with a larger quantity of diced tomatoes and see if that works.

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