Penne a la Vodka with Shrimp
and roasted broccoli
Penne a la Vodka is made with a creamy tomato sauce served with tender penne pasta. To add some flavor and protein, this version includes shrimp and is served with roasted broccoli on the side.
Smarts: The vodka in the sauce helps it to become creamy, but it cooks down for a long time to remove most of the alcohol - you likely won't notice it in the finished dish. But if you'd prefer not to use vodka, stock or even water work just fine.
- Shrimp, peeled and deveined - 1 lb
- Pasta, penne - 12 oz (sub any other short tube shape)
- Onions, medium - 1/2, diced
- Garlic - 3 cloves, chopped
- Tomatoes, whole peeled (28 oz / 795 g) - 1 can
- Butter - 2 Tbsp
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
- Oregano, dried - 1 tsp
- Basil, dried - 1 tsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Red pepper flakes - 1/4 tsp
- Vodka - 1/2 cup (sub any stock)
- Sugar - 1/4 tsp
- Heavy cream - 1/4 cup
- Cheese, grated parmesan - for serving
- Broccoli - 1 lb, florets
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Vinegar, balsamic - 2 tsp
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Shrimp - Defrost shrimp.
Pasta - Cook pasta according to package directions. If making ahead, toss with some oil to minimize sticking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Tomatoes - Drain the tomatoes. Reserve the liquids in one bowl and the solid tomatoes in another.
Heat oven to 425F / 218C.
Toss broccoli with olive oil (portion for broccoli), balsamic vinegar, and some salt and pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast until tender, 20 to 25 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through cooking.
While broccoli roasts, heat a Dutch oven or large saucepan with butter and olive oil (portion for pasta) over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and red pepper flakes and saute until soft, 2 to 3 minutes.
Use your hands to break apart the whole tomatoes as you add them to the onions and garlic. (Reserve the tomato liquid to add later.)
Remove pan from heat (this is especially important if you are cooking over an open flame where the vodka could spill and cause a fire), pour vodka into the pan, and bring to a simmer.
Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes to reduce the alcohol, continuing to stir the tomatoes to break them apart as they cook.
Pour liquids from peeled tomatoes and sugar into sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is rich and creamy, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add shrimp and stir to coat in sauce. Cook until the shrimp is opaque and cooked through, ~5 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and stir in heavy cream and cooked pasta.
Squeeze lemon juice over broccoli.
Serve pasta with parmesan cheese on top and roasted broccoli on the side. Enjoy!
This was pretty good. Vodka sauce is not a huge favorite in our house, but I wanted to try making this. Ended up adding more salt towards the end of cooking the sauce after cooking the shrimp and adding the cream and before adding the pasta. I also stirred it a bunch after adding the pasta to make it more creamy. I thought the broccoli was delicious. I didn’t add the lemon at the end because the kids really don’t like it that way. Overall, I can imagine serving this to guests and feeling great about it.0 Helpful
Really enjoying this! The perfect amount of flavor and spice and very simple to make!0 Helpful
Came together quickly when using precut broccoli florets and frozen zoodles. The sauce was delicious but I wish it was more creamy. Maybe it could‘ve gotten there with more simmering but I had already simmered for longer than the recipe called for.0 Helpful
Opted for regular tomato sauce. Used Healthy Noodles.0 Helpful
Made with substitutions: stock not vodka, meatballs not shrimp and light cream not heavy cream. It was the best sauce! I think the red pepper flakes gave it a nice kick.0 Helpful
Flavor was good, swapped shrimp for mushrooms. Needed a lot more time to thicken the sauce, never quite got there (even tho the mushrooms seemed dry when I finished sautéing them, maybe they released liquid after adding tomatoes?)0 Helpful