Ricotta Penne Alla Vodka

Marvelous Munch
by Marvelous Munch
4 people
45 min

What makes Penne Alla Vodka better, adding Ricotta. This Ricotta Penne Alla Vodka will knock your socks off. Creamy and comforting while mixed with a little kick to make this dish anything you could ever ask for. Don’t forget to add extra parmesan on top, what is an Italian dish without parmesan. Check out the recipe below and try it for yourself!

Growing up, Penne Alla Vodka was always one of my favorite dishes. The rich and creaminess of this pasta dish keeps you coming back for more. I decided to mix up on own concoction for a vodka sauce and kept thinking, this should be creamier. I don’t know if it is just my obsession with thick sauce but I knew there was something missing. To change that, whole tomatoes came into the picture. That let us puree the tomatoes to thicken the sauce. Next the creaminess, this is where the ricotta come into play. All of these ingredients together make for the BEST Ricotta Penne Alla Vodka ever! 


Whole San Marzano Tomatoes: This is the game changer tomato. You certainly buy pureed sauce but blending these yourself really makes a much more flavorful sauce.

Pancetta: The Italian bacon, cured in salt to provide extra flavor. You can choose to opt out if you are vegetarian but if you do, I recommend adding a pinch extra of salt.

Vodka: The alcohol cooks out but leaves a great tang after the fact. You can use any type of vodka you would like but we do recommend a good vodka like Tito’s.

Ricotta: The creamy hidden gem so many people don’t know to use. I have seen so many people make Penne Alla Vodka with heavy cream and it is tasty. But, Ricotta is the real MVP to add to an Italian dish.

From our kitchen to yours, cheers!

Recipe details
  • 4  people
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 40 Minutes Total time: 45 min
Show Nutrition Info
Hide Nutrition Info

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 shallot sliced and chopped finely
  • 4 oz pancetta chopped
  • 28 oz canned whole san marzanos tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup vokda
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • ½ cup parmesan shredded
  • 1 tbsp basil roughly chopped
  • 1 lb penne

In a large sauce pan or dutch oven heat pan over medium heat.
Add 1 tbsp oil to the pan and bring to heat. Add the garlic, shallots, and pancetta. Cook about 5 minutes or until the onion starts to become transluent and the pancetta is cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan or dutch oven, now empty, add your 28oz can of whole san marzano tomatoes. Let cook for about 10 minutes.
Add the vodka, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and let cook another 10-15 minutes.
Using an immersion blender or regular blender, blend the tomatoes until your begin to see a nice puree. Bring back to a simmer over medium heat.
Slowly begin to add the ricotta and parmesan a little at a time and stir well until all cheese is combined. Add in the pancetta, garlic, shallot mixture and basil, bring back to a simmer.
Cook penne al dente in a pot of water. Once ready, add to the sauce and mix well. Serve and garnish with parmesan and basil!
Marvelous Munch
Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!
  • Talie Talie on Feb 09, 2021

    My mouth is watering, just reading the recipe

  • No substitute for those san Marzano tomatoes! That is my go too for thick tasty pasta sauce. I love ricotta so much, you should try to make some homemade ricotta, it's so damn easy. The first time I made it I couldnt believe how easy it was for something that can be pretty expensive. Tastes better and saves$$$!

    • Marvelous Munch Marvelous Munch on Feb 09, 2021

      It is on the list to make!! Everyone says how easy it is so we have to try it out. And yes, San Marzano tomatoes makes a HUGE difference!!