Pasta and Sausage in Creamy Vodka Tomato Sauce

Penne2 The Curvy Carrot

It’s ironic that I’m posting a pasta recipe when it’s something I’m avoiding at all costs right now. ?My sister is getting married in less than 6 weeks, and I’ll be damned if I don’t fit in my bridesmaid dress. ?Now that the warm weather is finally upon us, I whipped out my old capris and sundresses and realized….”Oh dear. ?These are a *bit* too tight.”

Needless to say, the past few weeks have been ridiculously busy with work, exercise, eating right, and…more exercise. ?I’m seeing some results, which is great, but I really wouldn’t mind treating myself to another large helping of this particular dish. ?The good news is with all the extra exercise right now….I totally can. ?In all honesty, it’s not *so* bad for you. ?Yes, there’s some glorious cheese and cream, but there’s a few veggies, too….like spinach and tomatoes. ?Oh, and vodka. ?There are worse things in life than having a little tightness in your pants and a little splash of vodka in your pasta sauce. ?Checks and balances, right?

This recipe can be adapted to your own tastes. ?If you want to use a meat sausage, by all means, feel free. ?I used an Italian-flavored veggie version. ?If you don’t want vodka in your sauce, simply omit. ?And if you don’t want cheese or cream, you can omit those, too-the sauce is great without the cream. ?Add in additional vegetables if you like. ?And make sure you drink a big glass of wine with it.

?Penne7 The Curvy Carrot


Pasta and Sausage in Creamy Vodka Tomato Sauce

Servings: about 4-6



1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

One 28-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (keep the juices!)

1/3 cup vodka

1/2 cup heavy cream

2-3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves

1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

2 sausages, cooked according to package directions, and sliced into bite-sized pieces

Fresh ciliegine mozzarella (use however many you want-I’m a fan of as many as possible.)

16 ounces of whole wheat pasta (whatever kind you like), cooked according to package directions, with 1/2 cup pasta water reserved

?Penne9 The Curvy Carrot




1. In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil until shimmering. ?Meanwhile, you can start cooking your pasta.

2. ?Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes or so.

3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

4. Stir in the can of tomatoes (with their juices) and cook until heated through, about 3-4 minutes.

5. Add in the vodka, and cook, stirring the sauce occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

6. Add in the cream, spinach and basil leaves, and cooked sausage, stirring to thoroughly combine.

7. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, ?mixing to toss the pasta with sauce. ?Add in some of the pasta water if you would like to adjust the consistency of the sauce at all (I didn’t find I needed to, but at least you can have the option here.)

8. Top the pasta with the mozzarella and additional basil leaves (if desired) and serve immediately.


Source: A Curvy Carrot original.


June 6, 2014 - 9:26 am

Moira - I have a similar relationship with my summer clothes right now ?? Slightly tight pants are totally worth it for vodka sauce though…I’ll be making this soon!

June 8, 2014 - 6:23 am

Helen @ Scrummy Lane - I always find sausage in anything so flavourful, and let’s face it, you can’t really go wrong with a splash of cream in a pasta sauce, extra calories or not! Love the idea of adding the vodka – the Greeks have a version that they put ouzo in and it’s absolutely delicious so I’d definitely be interested in giving this a go, too!

June 10, 2014 - 5:56 pm

Joanne - Haha that’s what I’m going to be like in the 2-3 months before my wedding…but until then, might as well eat ALL THE ICE CREAM AND PASTA. Right?

June 10, 2014 - 7:50 pm

Carol at Wild Goose Tea - I love vodka pasta sauce, but I never got around to finding a recipe. Great, now I have one! I pinned it.

January 17, 2015 - 12:08 pm

Claudia @ HomeMade with love - This looks delicious! Just send my boyfriend to the grocery store to get everything.. we will make this for tonights dinner.. ?? I will let you know how it turned out.

January 18, 2015 - 2:06 am

Claudia @ HomeMade with love - As I mentioned.. we had your recipe last night for was amzaging! We both loved it. It had a wonderful flavor and which each bite you tasted something different.. this is going to be a usual at our house! Thanks so much for the recipe. ??