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Spicy Vodka Sauce with Peas

  • Author: Gianna Nebbia
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 22
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Pasta water
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This Spicy Vodka Sauce made with farfalle and peas is an elevated version of traditional vodka sauce that you can make any night of the week.



  • 1 lb pasta (bowtie shape)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 fennel bulb, finely diced
  • 2/3 cup vodka
  • 4 Tb tomato paste 
  • 1Tb crushed Calabrian chili peppers or Italian Bomba Sauce 
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • olive oil
  • salt/pepper
  • Grated parmesan cheese for serving 


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and season it heavily with salt. While the water boils, dice the onion and fennel. 
  2. Once the water is boiling, drop your pasta into the boiling water and cook for 8 minutes (set a timer). 
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat a separate saucepan with approximately 3 Tb olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and fennel, seasoned with salt and pepper, for 3-5 minutes until soft and starting to turn golden. 
  4. Stir in the Calabrian chili peppers and tomato paste and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently until the mixture turns dark red and some of it sticks and browns against the bottom fo the pan. 
  5. Turn off the heat, add the vodka, and immediately turn the heat back on. Stir and cook until most of the vodka has evaporated. Add the creme fraiche and stir to combine. At this point, the pasta should have been cooking for about 8 minutes. If it has not been a full 8 minutes, turn off the sauce's heat and wait for pasta timer to sound. 
  6. Once pasta has cooked for 8 minutes, return the sauce to medium-high heat and add the peas. Using a pasta spider, transfer pasta directly from boiling water into the sauce, along with 1/3 cup of pasta water and stir until thickened. Continue adding 1/3 cup of pasta water to the pasta and stirring until thickened until pasta is fully cooked to your liking.
  7. Serve. Top with parmesan cheese as desired.

Keywords: Spicy Vodka Sauce, farfalle alla vodka, vodka sauce with peas

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