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Vegan Vodka Pasta

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With just a simple ingredient swap, we can make Vegan Vodka Pasta just as rich, creamy and decadent as the original!

Okay, yes I’m late to the party! This was trending like 3 years ago, but if you’ve been wanting to make this dish, and didn’t know how to make it plant-based, this Vegan Vodka Pasta has your name all over it!

It’s rich and decadent, but oddly very easy to make and is ready in the same time it takes to boil some pasta!

ingredients for Vegan Vodka Pasta

Pasta – Penne is the traditional choice, but rigatoni and fusilli would work great too!

One thing to note, is the amount of pasta you use will make this dish saucier or not. For instance, here’s a photo of the dish made with 1 pound of pasta.

And here’s one where I used just 10 oz. So depending on what you like, adjust accordingly!

Cream – Just like my Spinach Spaghetti and Alfredo recipes, you have two options for the creamy element. You can either blend up some cashews and unsweetened plant milk for a cashew cream, or you can just blend up some silken tofu.

Both options work great and I can hardly tell the difference in flavor and texture between the two, so use whichever works best for your budget and diet. For me, tofu might win simply because it’s cheaper, faster and easier!

I haven’t tested out Coconut Milk, but that could probably work if you aren’t sensitive to the coconut taste.

Vodka – As the name would imply, we’ll be adding some Vodka! I’m not smart enough to explain why vodka makes this sauce taste better, but there’s a bunch of science reasons!

All I know is it seems to really heighten the complexity of flavors in the tomatoes and garlic for me. That said if you don’t do alcohol you can skip it and it’ll still be really good!

The Vodka Sauce – Besides the vodka and vegan cream, we’ll be using some olive oil, garlic, shallots, nutritional yeast, tomato paste and canned tomatoes, and calabrian chilies for some heat.

The sauce will likely be thick so I recommend adding some pasta water to thin it out and emulsify it too.

how to make Vegan Vodka Pasta

This all comes together pretty quickly. I recommend boiling your water and pasta while making the sauce. If you finish making the sauce before the pasta is done (which usually happens to me) just keep it warm on low until it’s time to add the pasta.

If making the sauce with the cashew cream, simply cover the cashews in boiling water for 10 minutes. Then blend with some unsweetened plant milk. If using silken tofu, I recommend blending that up so it’s nice and smooth as well.

Then to a saucier or saucepan, add the olive oil, garlic, shallots, calabrian chilies and nutrtional yeast and cook for 2 – 3 minutes.

Then add in the tomato paste, cook for an additional 3 minutes. After that, add in the vodka and cook that down for another 3 – 4 minutes.

Add in the tomatoes, break them up with a spatula, add in the heavy cream. Optionally you can blend up the sauce to make it smoother. Cook it on medium low for 4 minutes. Keep it warm on low while the pasta cooks.

Once pasta is cooked, add it to the sauce. Feel free to add in any pasta water as needed if the sauce is too thick.

Serve with some added vegan parmesan, fresh basil or parsley and enjoy!

storage

Store leftovers in the fridge and eat within 3 days. Reheat with a little added plant milk or water to loosen it up.

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Yield: 4 - 5 Servings

Vegan Vodka Pasta

Vegan Vodka Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. penne pasta*
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot (small dice)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 tsp calabrian chili (or red pepper to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 (4.5-oz) tube of tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 14 oz. can tomatoes (crushed is ok)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup cashew cream or silken tofu**
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Pasta water as needed

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. I also recommend salting the water with about 2 -3 tsp of salt.
  2. If using cashew cream, make that now (instructions in notes below) if using silken tofu, blend it up and reserve.
  3. While water gets to a boil and pasta cooks, add the olive oil to a saucier or large skillet. Heat over medium for 2 minutes, then add in the diced shallots, minced garlic, calabrian chile and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine and cook for 2 - 3 minutes, making sure not to burn the garlic. If it's browning too fast, lower the heat.
  4. Add in the tomato paste, stir to combine and then cook for another 3 - 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on it and again, make sure it's not getting blasted with heat, and if it is, lower the heat.
  5. Pour in the vodka, stir to combine and cook for another 3 minutes to reduce the vodka.
  6. Add in the tomatoes, if using whole tomatoes, crush them up with a spatula or potato masher. Cook those down for 3 more minutes. Pour in the cashew cream or blended up silken tofu and stir to combine. You can keep the sauce chunky, or add it to a blender to make it nice and smooth. If you blend it, pour it back into the saucepan / skillet.
  7. Taste and adjust sauce to your preference!
  8. If pasta is still cooking, keep the sauce warm on low.
  9. Once pasta is done cooking, add it to the sauce. Reserve the pasta water and add some as needed to thin and emulsify the sauce to your preference. Toss the pasta in the sauce to coat it.
  10. Serve immediately, top with anything you like! Vegan parmesan, red pepper, are both good options! Enjoy!

Notes

*Rigatoni or Fusilli are also good. Use less pasta for a saucier dish. Anywhere from 10 oz to 1 pound works great!

**To make cashew cream, simply cover 1/2 cup of raw unsalted cashews in boiling water for 10 minutes. Then drain and blend in a high speed blender with 1/2 cup of unsweetened plant milk until smooth.

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One Comment

  1. Overall, great flavor. Didn’t have calabrian chili. Subbed cayenne. The heat was tolerable but would probably leave out next time. Added some pasta water to thin.
    Used immersion blender for smooth texture. Didn’t use the full amount of pasta but will need to cook additional to even out the ratio of sauce. Would make again.

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