Lighter Penne à la Vodka

pasta vodka sauce Yunhee Kim


  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups bottled marinara sauce, preferably no-sugar-added
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk or plain soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound whole-grain penne
  • 1/4 cup vodka (inexpensive)
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add salt when simmering.

2. Warm marinara in a saucepan over medium heat. Slowly add milk, stirring until combined. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat; simmer until sauce reduces slightly. Add crushed red pepper.

3. Add penne to boiling water. Cook until almost done; add vodka to marinara mixture, and raise heat slightly. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.

4. In a large bowl, toss pasta with sauce and Parmigiano-Reggiano, adding some reserved water to thin sauce, if needed. Garnish with parsley, and serve.

  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Yield: Makes 8 servings

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 299
Fat per serving: 4g
Saturated fat per serving: 1g
Monounsaturated fat per serving: 2g
Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 1g
Protein per serving: 11g
Carbohydrate per serving: 49g
Fiber per serving: 4g
Cholesterol per serving: 4mg
Iron per serving: 2mg
Sodium per serving: 409mg
Calcium per serving: 76mg
Bethenny Frankel