Vegan Penne Alla Vodka

January 18, 2023
Before Christmas last year, I used some vodka to make my own vanilla bean extract and I just had some left hanging out on our shelf and I thought if I used red wine on my Lady and the Tramp inspired pasta, why not use another alcohol such as vodka for some other pasta dish? The alcohol helps add depth to the sauce but don’t worry—you won’t get tipsy or a hangover at all. This just makes the pasta sauce even more creamy, silky and velvety and all the soft “y’s” you can think of! Try this amazing recipe here:
Vegan penne alla vodka in a creamy tomato sauce with basil leaves scattered on top.

Vegan Penne Alla Vodka

Recipe Type: Hearty Entrees
utensils YIELDS 2-4 servings
herb graphic for recipe card
  • 2 cups penne pasta (precooked)
  • ½ onion (chopped)
  • 2x garlic cloves (minced)
  • A gentle splash of vodka
  • 1x canned tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • Generous pinch of mixed Italian herbs or oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A dash of nutritional yeast
  • ½ coconut cream (one small carton)
  • Fresh basil (for topping)
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1. Before starting, I always like to start by pre-cooking the pasta first which normally takes about 7–10 minutes (depending on the cooking directions of your pasta package) in a pot of boiling water, a drizzle of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. 

2. While that’s cooking, I start chopping the onions and sautéing them over a hot pan of drizzled olive oil until slightly softened before adding in the minced garlic on low to medium heat.  

3. Once the pan starts drying up, switching to low heat, gently add a splash of vodka and make sure to carefully back away as you’ll start your own flambé show! Use a wooden spoon to stir the glazed onion and garlic until it dies down. 

4. Then add in a can of tomatoes and let simmer for about 5 minutes. 

5. Next add in your tomato paste and stir until it dissolves into the tomato sauce. 

6. Add a pinch of chili flakes (depending on how spicy you’d like) and transfer into a high speed blender. 

7. Before blending, add a pinch of dried Italian herbs or oregano and blend until smooth.  

8. Transfer back onto the pan and mix in your coconut cream, add gradually as you get mesmerized with the beautiful swirls and color change. Don’t add too much coconut cream so it won’t overpower the overall taste of the sauce. Taste as you go. 

9. Finally add in your cooked penne pasta, combine well until every pasta gets coated. 

10. And a dash of nutritional yeast (depending on how much “cheesy” taste you prefer), tear some fresh basil leaves over and enjoy this lush pasta recipe!

If you still craving for more pasta dishes, try:

Lady and the Tramp-Inspired Spaghetti “Meatballs” (Vegan) 

Marathon Running Cravings: Aglio e Olio (Garlic and Olive Oil) Pasta

Vegan “Chicken” Macaroni Soup (Filipino Comfort Food)

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Photo: Bel Faustino

Bel Faustino
Bel’s curiosity for healthy living started at a young age of 11. From mindful eating to exercise, she always had a sweet tooth struggle and her weakness are desserts. It then took her high school and uni days to find the balance to maintain the healthy lifestyle yet enjoy desserts in a more guilt-free way and veganizing them seems the way to do it. Obsessed with always finding healthier alternatives, she hopes to recreate her favorite non vegan treats and share her recipes through her culture (Filipina born in Macau, S.A.R., China), lifestyle, childhood memories and travels (Southeast Asia, USA, Mexico, UK and more to come!). Follow her journey in Instagram @belbrosasfaustino.


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