This bucatini with spicy vodka sauce has just the right amount of kick and all the flavor! It’s simple to make and takes less than an hour to whip up in the kitchen. Top it with fresh basil and cracked pepper for the perfect pasta dish.
- Bucatini: It’s a bit thicker than spaghetti and pairs perfectly with a nice hearty sauce!
- Olive Oil: 2 tbsp are needed to sauté the onion and garlic.
- Yellow Onion: You’ll need 1 small onion or ¾ a medium onion.
- Garlic: This recipe calls for 3 garlic cloves or 1 tbsp freshly minced garlic.
- Can of Crushed Tomatoes: You’ll need a single 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes.
- Vodka: You’ll want to use high quality vodka for the best taste.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: This is where the spiciness comes from! Feel free to add more or less to your liking.
- Fresh Basil & Oregano: Use fresh herbs for a higher quality flavor. Adding a bit of fresh basil on top is good too!
- Heavy Cream: This adds just a touch of creaminess to the sauce.
- Parmesan: This adds an extra bit of flavor and saltiness to the pasta sauce.
- Salt & Pepper: Depending on which salt you use, you made need more or less. We like to use fine sea salt in all our recipes!
When throughly cooked, vodka has no distinct taste, but rather enhances the other flavorings in the sauce.
Generally, it should be ok for kids to consume as long as the sauce has simmered for a long time. A long, slow simmer helps to cook off a lot of the alcohol that’s in the sauce. However, it’s up to you whether or not you want to serve it to young children.
No. Simmering the sauce for a while will evaporate most of the alcohol content out, eliminating any alcohol taste.
How To Make Spicy Vodka Sauce
- Heat the Olive Oil & Sauté the Onion & Garlic: Heat the olive oil in a pan. Then add the diced onions and cook until they’re translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Make sure you keep stirring as the garlic cooks. Otherwise, you could end up with burnt garlic!
- Add the Tomatoes, Vodka, and Herbs: Once the onions and garlic have cooked, stir in the crushed tomatoes, vodka, and herbs. Simmer the sauce for at least 15 minutes to reduce the alcohol. This step is essential because it lets the flavors marinate with each other. However, just know that the longer you simmer it, the thicker it’ll get. If it gets too thick, you can add some reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce.
- Add the Heavy Cream, Parmesan, and Salt & Pepper: After the sauce has simmered, stir in the heavy cream, parmesan, salt, and pepper. Simmer for another 5 minutes to cook through and blend the flavors together.
- Stir in the Pasta: Once the sauce has finished, toss the pasta into the sauce and mix it around with tongs. Top with parmesan and fresh basil for extra flavor! Enjoy!
A Few Tips
- Boil and salt your pasta water before making the sauce. You’ll want to prepare the water for the bucatini beforehand, so you can have the pasta ready once the sauce is done.
- Simmer the sauce for a while. This is crucial for cooking out most of the alcohol content in the vodka. 15 minutes on medium heat should be enough time to let the flavors meld together.
- Use fresh herbs for a higher quality sauce. Dried herbs tend to have a slight bitterness to them and are much stronger than fresh herbs.
- Reserve a bit of pasta water if you need to thin out your sauce. If you’re sauce gets too thick it’s always good to have some pasta water on hand for this reason.
- Top it with fresh basil and cracked pepper. For an extra flavor boost, add more fresh basil as well as cracked pepper on top. Or if you’re a huge spice lover like us, you can add a few more sprinkles of crushed red pepper flakes!
If you want a little protein in your meal, here are a few suggestions to add to your bucatini:
- Italian Sausage
- Ground Beef
- Ground Turkey
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This bucatini recipe has the most delicious spicy vodka sauce, and takes less than an hour to make. Top it with a handful of fresh basil and you’ve got yourself the perfect pasta dish!
- 10 oz (285 g) bucatini
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic (1 tbsp), minced
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes (794 g)
- ½ cup (125 ml) vodka
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup (10 g) fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
- ½ cup (125 ml) heavy cream
- ¼ cup (30 g) grated parmesan cheese
- 1 ¼ tsp salt (more or less to taste)
- ½ tsp pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil to cook your pasta in.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook until translucent. Then add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly (about 30 seconds).
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add the crushed tomatoes, vodka, crushed red pepper, basil, and oregano. Stir and increase the heat back to medium. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the alcohol has been reduced out.
- While the sauce is simmering, cook and drain your pasta according to the package. Reserve 1 cup (250 ml) of pasta water in case you need to thin out the sauce.
- Reduce the sauce to low heat and stir in the heavy cream, parmesan, salt, and pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. If you feel like your sauce is too thick, you can add a bit of the reserved pasta water to thin it to your liking.
- Turn off the heat and mix the bucatini into the sauce with tongs. Top with fresh basil and cracked pepper if desired.
Be careful not to add too much pasta water or the sauce could get watered down and lose flavor intensity.
Keywords: spicy vodka pasta, bucatini, spicy vodka sauce, pasta alla vodka, vodka sauce, bucatini recipe, pasta recipe, pasta dish