Cooking, Baking & Cocktail Shaking

Spaghetti with Vodka Sauce

Have you ever heard of the “No recipe recipe?” It’s a recipe, yet it’s not a recipe. What? I didn’t really understand its concept until I was in the kitchen the other night experimenting with a pasta sauce. Now, I completely understand the idea behind the no recipe recipe. It allows the cook the ability to impart their own creativity and flavors into a dish. It’s actually quite brilliant. It gives the base for a recipe, but allows room for flexibility. It’s good for the timid cook because they have essentials to work with but can go outside the boundaries if they’re feeling frisky.

I made a no recipe recipe vodka sauce that can be paired with pasta, chicken parmesan, lasagna, or whatever else you like. It’s a very flexible sauce, which means you can add a little of this or a little of that. Make it your own and get creative with it. That’s what a no recipe recipe is.

I paired my vodka sauce with spaghetti. Simple, yet delicious. This recipe is great for the busy cook. The sauce is finished in the time it takes the pasta to cook. No lie! I was completely impressed the other night when I made this dish. It was one of those nights when I had a million things to do and I had no idea how I was going to fit in making dinner. But, I did it. And, it only took 20 minutes. Victory feels good!

Add a little wine to the mix and life is good. It also helped me forgot about the many chores I had weighing on my thoughts.

The vodka sauce is extremely flavorful. It may only take about 15 minutes to cook, but it doesn’t lack in flavor. It’s creamy, cheesy, and slightly spicy. The vodka gets cooked down, but it leaves a nice bite in the background of the sauce. Enjoy!


1/2 cup onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2-1 tsp. red pepper flakes (depending on your spice level)

1 cup vodka

28 oz can crushed tomatoes

3 tbs. parmesan

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

1 tsp. italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. dried basil (3 tbs. of fresh basil if you have it on hand)

1 tbs. sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

1lb pasta

Cook your pasta following the instructions on the pasta box. Don’t forget to season the pasta water with salt. It’s the only time to impart flavor into your pasta. It definitely makes a difference.

In a large saucepan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add vodka and reduce to about half, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, italian seasoning, dried basil (if using fresh basil, don’t put it in until the sauce is almost finished), and sugar. Cook for about 3 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend sauce until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, feel free to use a food processor or blender. Of course, you’re welcome to leave the sauce chunky if that’s the way you like it. Add parmesan and ricotta cheese. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add one cup of pasta water to the sauce and stir. Add your cooked pasta to the sauce and serve. Remember, this is a no recipe recipe. You can add or subtract wherever you like. Add a little more heat by adding a bit more red pepper flakes. If you love cheese, add more ricotta or parmesan. It’s your sauce, so by all means, add what you love. Enjoy!

5 Responses to “Spaghetti with Vodka Sauce”

  1. #
    kate — March 11, 2012 at 3:57 am

    Vodka sauce is my favorite part!!


  2. #
    Villy — March 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    My pasta sauces usually are no recipe recipes! I don’t know why… Vodka is a great addition!


  3. #
    Jenn and Seth (@HomeSkilletCook) — March 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    i just love vodka sauce…this looks sooo delicious, i wish i could just grab it and eat it for lunch :)


  4. #
    alana — November 19, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Someone tried to “correct” me the other day and say vodka sauce isn’t for spaghetti! Well, my spaghetti said otherwise because it was delish! lol. I’m glad to see fellow person doing this. I haven’t made homemade sauce yet but I will be trying soon. I made my spaghetti the other day with Bertolli vodka sauce mixed with Hunts 4 cheese sauce, chives, italian seasoning and garlic & herb by old bay. in a separate pan I made meatballs drenched in the vodka sauce simmering for 15 mins and when I mixed it all together OMG! Amaze! Thanks for this recipe! :)



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