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Creamy Penne alla Vodka

Buttery mascarpone, savory garlic, and vibrant tomatoes—all with a touch of heat. This Creamy Penne alla Vodka recipe is a fine dining dream.

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penne and mascarpone vodka sauce in cast iron skillet

Delight loved ones and your taste buds! A rich, slightly tangy tomato sauce pairs with penne pasta, offering vibrant sophistication your palate will adore. Onions, thyme, and tomato paste simmer into a flavorful base with a kick from red pepper flakes. Vodka adds a zippy tang, a nod to the dish’s namesake. Creamy mascarpone enriches the sauce. Toss with pasta, broiled tomatoes, and sharp Parmesan for an unforgettable, decadent dish.

  • 12 oz Ronzoni® Penne
  • 2 ½ cups grape tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ⅓ cup vodka
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Skill LevelIntermediate
Prep Time20 Min
Cook Time30 Min


  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  3. Meanwhile, toss together tomatoes, olive oil, and half each of the salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until charred in spots and starting to burst.
  4. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook onion, garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes, and remaining salt and pepper for 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is slightly softened.
  5. Stir in tomato paste; cook for 1 minute.
  6. Stir in vodka; bring to a boil. Stir in broth; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low to simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Stir in mascarpone until smooth.
  8. Add pasta, reserved cooking liquid, and broiled tomatoes, tossing until well-coated. Add Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Pro Tip

The cloudy pasta water helps the sauce bind to the pasta, making it your secret ingredient for a silky sauce.