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Dec 12, 2013 10:19 PM

Lost penne a la vodka recipe

H, all:

I received a small cookbook as a gift with a Bon Appetit subscription in the '90s. In it was a recipe for Penne a la Vodka. I lost the book and have never been able to make the recipe the same again. Does anyone have this recipe?

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  1. Check out Epicurious. Their recipe collection includes a lot of Gourmet and Bon Appetit recipes.

    1. I looked at Bon Appetit but didn't see one. I have used Pioneer Woman's recipe with great success.

      Here is one on Epicurious as well

      2 Replies
      1. re: boyzoma

        There is a Bon Appetit recipe for Penne alla Vodka with chicken added on Epicurious, in addition to Lidia's.

        I am very much not a fan of Pioneer Woman but her recipe looks a lot better than the Bon Appetit one.

        Its really pretty simple to make. I wonder what is "off" with the OP's preparation...

        1. re: C. Hamster

          I must of missed that one. Of course, it's all in the "search" of using "a la" or "alla" I suppose. :-)

      2. Patricia Wells has one in her Trattoria book. If you'd like, I can pull it out and give you the gist.

        1. Thanks for all the responses; I checked all the leads. The recipe that was in Bon Appetit (late 90's, early 2000's) had shallots in it....many of the others here don't, so i know they're not the same. I tried the ones that seemed to have the same ingredients, but they did not come out the same! My 14 y/o daughter loves this dish...I wanted to make it for her birthday. Last year on her birthday, her aunt and uncle both died (of separate causes). I was not able to recreate the dish for her! (It's just a dish, but I really wanted her not to be disappointed!) I will keep searching, and should anyone stumble across some more likely candidates, do please post! Thanks to all for your suggestions! :-)

          4 Replies
          1. re: JenniferFirechick131

            I found a recipe called Rigatoni with Vodka Tomato Sauce from Bon Appetit on the internet. Here is a copy of the recipe from

            2 tablespoons olive oil
            1 cup shallot, finely chopped
            1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
            1/2 cup vodka
            3/4 cup whipping cream
            3/4 cup tomato sauce
            8 ounces rigatoni pasta
            4 ounces prosciutto, chopped
            2/3 cup asiago cheese (about 2 ounces)
            2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
            2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

            Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat.
            Add shallots and crushed red pepper.
            Saute until shallots are translucent, about 5 minutes.
            Add vodka and ignite with long match.
            Simmer until flames subside, shaking pan occasionally, about 2 minutes.
            Increase heat to high, add cream and boil until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.
            Add tomato sauce; boil until sauce thickens and coats back of spoon, about 2 minutes.
            (Can be made 1 day ahead; chill).
            Cook pasta in pot of boiling water until tender but still firm to bite.
            Drain; reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
            Bring sauce to simmer.
            Add pasta, prosciutto, 1/3 cup cheese, parsley, and basil to skillet and toss to coat.
            Add reserved pasta cooking liquid if mixture is too dry
            Transfer to large bowl.
            Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and serve.

            1. re: cascabelpepper

              Hi, thanks for the recipe. I know it's not exactly the same, bec I would have remembered the igniting, but it looks good- definitely worth a try!

              1. re: JenniferFirechick131

                I also saw a simplified version of this recipe posted on (without the igniting, but no shallots) :


                It says that the recipe is from the Bon Appetit 30-Minute Main Courses Cookbook which was published in 1996.

                1. re: cascabelpepper

                  Thanks....I know the lost original had shallots, but I'm definitely going to try this one - sounds interesting with the cheese added to the sautee. Thanks for posting.

          2. Hi, Jennifer. Looks like you're new here. So welcome. A piece of advice: Your fellow Chowhounders may or may not be able to find the exact recipe for you. But I basically guarantee we can help you make a dish as good as or better than the one you're looking for!

            Besides shallots, what made the recipe special to your daughter? Was it creamier than other recipes, more tomatoey, spicier (nutmeg sometimes goes in), or what? If you can name a couple of other ingredients that you remember or an odd technique we can help more.

            3 Replies
            1. re: nokitchen

              Okay, let me try: it was NOT (to her) "tomatoey-tasting"; she said my recreation attempts were too "tomatoey." Ingredients I'm sure of: shallots, butter, olive oil, garlic, plum tomatoes, vodka, cream. It was meatless. It was creamy, not tomatoey, not spicy. Had a flavor that was smooth and slightly sweet while the tomato taste was very under-stated. Hard to describe.

              1. re: JenniferFirechick131

                Well, heck. I was sure that would bring out the Hounders. Sorry to get your hopes up.

                1. re: JenniferFirechick131

                  Jen - now would be the time to make it your own. Take pieces of the recipes you like. Use shallots instead of requested onions, use a little sugar to ease the "tomatoey" taste. Make sure you use heavy cream. Use a microplane for the garlic. It might be fun to make it with your daughter as you can taste and adjust accordingly. If it was me, I'd love that. Good luck to you and let us know how it goes. Happy Holidays.