Description: Food Network Kitchen's Can of Tomato Paste Vodka Sauce.
Recipe courtesy of Amanda Neal for Food Network Kitchen

Can of Tomato Paste Vodka Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
The only tomato product you’ll need for this classic dish is a can of tomato paste, resulting in a creamy, tangy sauce that’s easy enough for a family meal and impressive enough for a special occasion—plus no annoying tomato paste leftovers. While you’ll typically see vodka sauce served with penne, we find it positively magical on any tubular pasta (it coats the inside and outside of the noodle), resulting in the perfect sauce-to-pasta ratio in each bite.



  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat; season the water generously with salt. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 8 to 12 minutes (depending on the pasta shape). Reserve 1 cup of cooking water in a liquid measuring cup, then drain the pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in another large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic has softened, 1 to 2 minutes more. Add the tomato paste and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato paste has turned a deep brick red and is starting to caramelize on the bottom and sides of the pot, about 6 minutes. Pour in the vodka and scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pot, then cook until the vodka is almost completely absorbed and the alcohol has cooked off, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low, then stir in the heavy cream and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water until smooth and combined.
  3. Add the cooked pasta, Parmesan and butter to the sauce and stir to evenly combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt. Adjust the consistency of the sauce, adding 1 tablespoon of cooking water at a time, until it nicely coats the pasta (it should be creamy, glossy and saucy). Serve in shallow bowls with an extra sprinkle of Parmesan and thinly sliced fresh basil.