Weekend Wine Pairing: Quick Penne Alla Vodka with…

When you feel that craving for pasta coming on, penne alla vodka is always a good call. This Italian American dish is a perfect mix of pasta, cream, marinara sauce, and seasoning.

Some cookbooks credit Dante, a restaurant in Bologna, Italy with the creation of penne alla vodka. Other culinary historians say a graduate of Columbia University invented the dish. An American law professor has gone as far as claiming that his father (who was born in Naples, Italy), devised the first version of the meal called penne alla Russia. 

Who knows…I’m stating that I’ll be creating this plate of pasta heaven in my kitchen!

Let’s do this…

Quick Penne Alla Vodka

Ingredients (credit: Yummly.com)

  • 12 ozs penne rigate (wheat penne or fusilli)
  • 3 tbsps butter (taste)
  • 1/4 cup pancetta (chopped or 1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms diced)
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 26 ozs marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (whipping)
  • kosher salt (taste)
  • ground pepper (fresh ground pepper to taste)
  • freshly grated parmesan (cheese)


Start a pot of salted water boiling.

In a 12” skillet, melt butter over medium heat; when it foams, add pancetta (or mushrooms) and saute for about 6 minutes.

Raise the heat to medium-high and add the vodka. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly.

Add the marinara sauce and cream to the skillet.

Meanwhile, put pasta into the pot of boiling water.

Simmer sauce gently, stirring occasionally; Add salt/pepper to taste.

When pasta is just barely al dente, drain it and add it to the skillet.

Stir gently with the sauce for a minute or two. Transfer to a hot bowl, and serve with the grated cheese.

What wine pairs with penne alla vodka?

Sangiovese: a nice red wine with dusty earth and orange peel aromas that delivers a sour cherry flavor

Cabernet Sauvignon: a rich wine with red fruit mixed with some spice

Pinot Blanc: A white wine with an oily, creamy texture that offers notes of caramel and citrus


Hello Vino