Pasta Alla Vodka that’s better than Gigi’s

side view of creamy tomato pasta with cheese

Ohhhhh I just threw down the gauntlet, didn't I! 😂 My daughter first introduced me to Gigi Hadid's viral pasta alla vodka way back in 2020. And, don't get me wrong, it was good. In fact it was downright delicious. BUT, like with most recipes, I couldn't resist tweaking it a bit, and I think I came up with a pasta alla vodka that's better than Gigi's.

What makes this recipe better?

If you've been hanging out with me awhile, you'll know I'm a big believer in coaxing as much flavor out of ingredients as possible. Life's too short to eat bland boring food, right? I think the flavor could definitely be dialed up on the dish, so I added more garlic, used shallots instead and took a lot more time to cook the tomato paste. The longer it cooks, the deeper the color, and the deeper the color the better and richer the flavor.

You know what makes cooking so fun?

You could try this recipe and totally disagree! That's right, you make it, LOVE it (which I'm pretty darn sure you will!), and still like Gigi's version better. Our tastes are all different! You can make this with more garlic or less garlic, vodka or no vodka, small shells or penne or rigatoni, chicken or ground beef. Explore what tastes good do you and go full force in that direction!

I'd love to know what you think of the recipe, so when you make it please take a second and leave a review and comment!! Comments are so helpful not just to grow my blog, but to all the other visitors who scroll on through looking for ideas on what to cook for dinner!

Thanks for stopping by!! Happy Cooking, friends!


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Pasta Alla Vodka that's better than Gigi's

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Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4


  • 1 box orecchiette, rigatoni, penne pasta or Annie's pasta
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/2 shallot finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh Italian leaf parsley, chopped
  • Fresh Parmigiano Reggiano


  • Bring a large pot of water to boil, add a good amount of salt and cook pasta 3 minutes less than what the package says. This will keep your pasta from overcooking and make it nice and al dente.
  • BEFORE YOU DRAIN THE PASTA REMOVE 1 CUP PASTA WATER. I'm putting this in all caps to make sure you don't forget this step. There are plenty of times I've drained the pasta and instantly regretted not remembering to get some pasta water. All that gorgeous starch from the pasta that's now infused int the water helps thicken and immulsfy pasta sauces beautifully!
  • Once you have your pasta water, drain the pasta and return to the pot while you finish the sauce.
  • While the water is boiling and pasta is cooking, add the olive oil to a large sauté pan. Heat the pan over medium high heat. (use one with high sides because you'll be adding the pasta to it at the end and you'll need the room!)
  • When the olive oil shimmers, add the garlic and shallots. Stir often and sauté until soft, about 5-7 minutes. If the garlic or shallots start to brown before they're softened, turn your heat down.
  • When they've softened, add the tomato paste and cook until it turns a deep red. Stir it constantly and you'll see the color deepen after about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the vodka and simmer until the liquid evaporates. This should only take a minute or two.
  • Stir in cream and red pepper flakes. If you're not that into spice add 1/2 teaspoon to start. Simmer until it thickens and then season with salt and pepper. Taste and, if you want it spicier, add another 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
  • Stir in 1/4 cup of the pasta water to make the sauce extra creamy. If you've doubled the sauce recipe, you'll probably need to add a little more of the pasta water.
  • Add the pasta to the skillet, turn the heat to low, and toss the pasta in the sauce until it's completely coated.
  • Serve garnished with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and Parmigiana Reggiano.
Have you made this recipe?I'd love to know! Leave a comment or recipe rating and tag me @amenuforyou on social media!

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