Gigi's Viral Penne With Spicy Vodka Sauce

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Gigi's Viral Penne With Spicy Vodka Sauce


  • 8 oz Cappello's Penne

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil 

  • ¼ red onion small diced (or 3 shallots, minced)

  • 3 cloves of garlic minced 

  • ¼ cup tomato paste 

  • ½ cup heavy cream you may replace it with half-and-half to cut down on the fat

  • 1 tablespoon vodka YOU CAN SKIP IT

  • Fresh basil leaves to taste

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or more for a spicier pasta

  • 1 tablespoon butter you can omit it to cut down on the fat

  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 



  • Cook the pasta: Make sure to follow the directions in the package. When the pasta is done (al dente), save ½ cup of the pasta water before draining instead of ¼ cup in the original recipe. More of the starchy pasta water will make the sauce saucier.  Set aside!

  • Make the sauce: Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil, and cook the onion (or shallots) until soft. Then add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until it appears “darker in color and a bit caramelized”, says Gigi Hadid.

  • Add in the heavy cream and then the vodka (optional). Cook until vodka has evaporated (about 2 minutes). NOTE: For extra flavor, you may add a few small leaves of basil to the sauce at this point!

  • Add in salt and pepper to taste, and also the red pepper flakes. Keep stirring until combined and the sauce is mostly creamy and thickened.

  • Right before adding the pasta, add in the butter. Stir over low heat until the butter has melted.

  • Add the cooked pasta – and the pasta water – to the sauce.

  • Stir in the parmesan cheese and adjust the salt and pepper if needed. Make sure the pasta is fully coated with the sauce.

  • Serve this spicy vodka pasta topped with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and basil to garnish. Enjoy!


  • Stir the sauce
  • Shave parmesan cheese
  • Garnish with parmesan and basil