Eitan's Penne Alla Vodka


  • Kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp red chile flakes
  • 10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1 (28 oz) can whole, peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup parmesan, grated
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh oregano, for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over a high heat. Add in the penne and cook, stirring, until al dente, about 11 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in the chile flakes and garlic, and cook, stirring, until soft and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add in the vodka to the pan. To flambé, carefully light sauce with long-reach lighter and the flame will go out in about 30-45 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring, until slightly reduced, about 15 minutes. Using a blender, food processor, or immersion blender, blend the sauce until smooth, then pour back into the pan. Stir in the cream and cheese, season with salt and pepper, and stir until smooth.

  3. Drain pasta, and transfer to pan with sauce; toss pasta with sauce until evenly coated. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with grated parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper.