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Grossy’s Vodka Sawce

by Grossy Pelosi

The process of making vodka sawce is one of the most visually exciting experiences I’ve had with cooking. I’ve been making a recipe that my talented friend Chris shared with me a long time ago, and it’s completely flawless. It’s been the most popular of all my pasta sauce recipes, and for good reason. Not only is it inappropriately thick (same) and illegally glossy (also same), but it tastes how comfort feels.


    • 8 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 3 garlic cloves, grated
    • Red pepper flakes (optional)
    • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1-pint (two cups) heavy cream*
    • 6 tablespoons vodka**
    • 1 lb. rigatoni or other pasta
    • grated Parmesan or pecorino


Over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter, red pepper flakes (optional) and 8 tablespoons olive oil together in a saucepan. Add grated garlic and 6 tablespoons tomato paste. Whisk until fragrant.

At the same time, boil pasta in salty water.

Whisk 2 cups heavy cream into sauce for 5-6 minutes until darkened. Add 6 tablespoons vodka and whisk another 5-6 minutes, until alcohol is cooked out.

Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Add ½ cup pasta water to the sawce and whisk until inappropriately thick, adding more pasta water to loosen if necessary. Sauce may take up to 20 minutes to get thick enough, and it is absolutely worth the wait.

Add pasta to sauce and stir until coated and glossy.

Serve with grated parmesan or pecorino.

Vodka sawce is not the easiest to reheat, so if you are planning to eat less than a full pound of pasta and sauce (IDK who you are but okay), halve the recipe or make the full sawce recipe, put half of the sawce in a container, and only cook a ½ lb of pasta. When you’re ready for your next meal, reheat the leftover sauce in a pan and add freshly cooked pasta for your second meal.

If you want to add meat or fish to your pasta, I recommend cooking the meat or fish separately and serving it alongside or on top of the pasta. Do not cook the meat into the sauce.

If you want to add vegetables to your pasta, I recommend cooking vegetables separately and serving it alongside or on top of the pasta. Do not cook the vegetables into the sauce.

Video from Good Morning America

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