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Baked Penne Alla Vodka Recipe: A Quick, Rewarding Pasta Bake

Talia Cortez (@taliacor)

Meya Cortez (@meyarrr), Jerome Jocson (@emowredge)

Jica Simpas (@jicasimpas)

Penne alla vodka is just what its name suggests. It’s a pasta dish using penne with a creamy vodka-spiked tomato sauce. (Don’t worry, the alcohol evaporates as it cooks, so there’s very little chance that it will get you drunk.) Recently, the dish has been finding traction with the Tiktok generation because of model Gigi Hadid, who shared her recipe online. Well, we see her penne alla vodka and raise her our cheesy baked penne alla vodka.

This recipe follows the basic principle of penne alla vodka. It starts with the aromatics, then builds a sauce with tomato paste, cream, and vodka. Normally, you’d stop there. But our version takes a page out of pasta bake; transferring it into an oven-safe dish, topping it with cheese, then baking it in the oven to finish. The result is still a creamy pasta, but now it has a melty cheese topping and some crisp portions of baked pasta.

Vodka Pasta Bake
Pre-melty, crispy goodness.

If you don’t have penne, you can use rigatoni as we did. That said, the recipe also works with other pasta shapes—even spaghetti. You can add prosciutto, ham, or bacon to your cheesy baked penne alla vodka, but this is optional. You can keep it meat-free, or you can experiment with adding a couple of tiny vegetables in there (like carrots or broccoli maybe?). And if you happen to have an oven-safe pot, you can already use that to build your sauce, instead of using a pan and a separate oven-safe dish. That gives you less stuff to clean afterward!

Cheesy Baked Penne alla Vodka Recipe

Difficulty

Medium

Serving Size

6-8 people

Active Time

1 hr

Total Time

1 hr

Instructions for Penne alla Vodka

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a pan over medium heat, add the oil.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant and tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes more.
  5. Add the heavy cream and mix until well combined.
  6. Pour in the vodka and stir, then bring mixture to a boil.
  7. Once boiling, turn the heat down and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Add the cooked pasta and the pasta water and stir until well combined, cooking until the sauce has begun to thicken around the pasta, about 5-7 minutes more.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in the ham, if using.
  10. Transfer pasta to an oven-safe dish and place the cheese on top in an even layer.
  11. Place the dish in the oven and cook until bubbling and the cheese is melted and browned, about 15-20 minutes.
  12. Serve.

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