Dinner Tonight: Sausage & Vodka Pasta

This is one of the best meals I’ve ever made.
Not only was it really good, it was really simple too.
We love making pasta at our house because it’s always a huge hit…but who wants to eat the same boring spaghetti and jarred sauce all the time?  Not me!  So, I’m constantly revamping spaghetti and meat sauce to please my pasta lovers.
I love ordering a vodka sauce on my pasta at restaurants, so I thought I’d make my own…and it was really simple!  Don’t worry if you have little ones, the sauce simmers long enough to let the alcohol burn off…but it leaves behind a great depth of flavor.
Next time you want to reach for that jarred sauce, stop!  Instead, try whipping up this yummy dish.  Your family is going to LOVE it too!
This recipe makes enough for 4 adults.
Shopping List
1 (16 oz) box of fettuccine or spaghetti noodles
1 pound of sausage (we used an Italian pork sausage)
1 onion, chopped
1 cup Vodka
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons half & half, cream or milk
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (plus a little more for garnish)
Salt and Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Basil to garnish
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat and drop your pasta to cook until al dente.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown your sausage in a tablespoon or so of EVOO.  Once your sausage is browned and crumbly, stir in your onion along with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Saute the onion and sausage mixture over medium heat 4 or 5 minutes.  Slowly stir in your vodka and de-glaze the pan (scrape up the little bits with a wooden spoon as you stir the vodka in with the sausage and onion).  Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in your tomato paste and tomato sauce.  Simmer together 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often.
After 8 to 10 minutes, stir in your half and half and Parmesan cheese.  Drain your pasta and add your cooked pasta to the meat sauce.  Stir to combine everything.
Portion out your pasta on to plates and garnish with chopped basil and a little more Parmesan cheese.

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  • Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} September 3, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Ooooooh! This is the dish you were telling me about! Next time the no pasta eating hubby goes out of town, I'm totally making this!

  • Slightly Askew Designs September 3, 2014 at 11:43 am

    That looks delish! Can't wait to give it a try 🙂

  • Sarah E @ theteacherswife.com September 3, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I'm not against the vodka, but is it necessary or can you use something to sub? Since we don't have vodka on hand, I hate to go out and buy it just for one dish. What do you think? Will it be as yummy w/o it?

  • Mix and Match Mama September 3, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I would make another one of my pastas if you don't have Vodka on hand. The vodka really is the key to this particular recipe ;).

  • Whitney September 3, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    What brand/type of sausage do you buy? I'm not a sausage lover but have loved all of your pasta recipes. I am guessing you could use ground beef as well?

  • Mix and Match Mama September 3, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I almost always buy my sausage behind the butcher's counter. I find it to be better there! And if you sub ground beef, it won't be as flavorful (because sausage has a lot of spices and flavors)…so, make sure you season it!!

  • Anonymous September 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    This may be a silly question, but do you remove the meat from the sausage casing? Or cut up the sausages?

  • Mix and Match Mama September 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    If you buy the sausage in links instead of in bulk, yes, remove the meat from the casing ;). Enjoy!

  • allisonwest September 5, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Made this tonight! So good! Thank you!

  • Morgan Soper September 7, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Hi Shay! What kind of vodka did you use? I made this last night and it was super yummy, but I think I'm going to make it with a different vodka next time. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  • Mix and Match Mama September 7, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    I used Absolut Vodka :).

  • Anonymous February 17, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Thank you so much for the recipe! I made this tonight and tried to follow all of your directions to a T. It looked and smelled delicious but while eating it I couldn't get past the taste of Vodka. A cup of vodka seems like a lot and don't feel like it had the time to burn off. Did I miss something?

    Thank You,


  • Mix and Match Mama February 17, 2015 at 12:03 am

    Hi Tara!
    If the flavor was too intense, you could use less vodka. When the alcohol burns off, the flavor intensifies, so it will taste like vodka.

  • Danielle Rigg March 27, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I made this the other night, Yummy! I am going to make a big tray for Easter. Question…have you ever made the sauce ahead, do it stay fresh, have you ever frozen the sauce if extra? And I am assuming th recipes will be as good if quadrupling it? Any thoughts?

  • Mix and Match Mama March 27, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    If you're quadrupling it, I would only double the Vodka (four times would probably be too much). This sauce freezes beautifully! I would freeze it in a big Ziploc baggie and then place it in the sink to thaw out before reheating. Enjoy!

  • Sara September 20, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Hi Shay, do you grate the Parmesan (from a rind), or can I use the Kraft/green canister?

  • Carol July 4, 2016 at 11:11 am

    This is so yummy one of my Hubbys favorite meals!!!!!

  • Robin October 26, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Love these! My husband saw the mushroom spaghetti casserole over my shoulder and he wants it. Me too. Now that he is not looking, I think I might make the vodka sauce sausage pasta, too. (He’s funny about any vodka or wine sauces – he’ll like them if you don’t tell him ahead of time what he is eating. Same with some other ingredients.)