Recipe: Penne alla Vodka

I’m sure many of you are like me and love pasta!  I mean, really, what’s not to love? All that carby goodness of pasta which also just happens to be the perfect vessel to carry some luscious sauce right to your taste buds.  *drool*  Of course, then there’s the downside which is all the calories and fat that come with it.  Well, until now!

Chef Rocco DiSpirito has a couple of books out now in his Now Eat This series.  You can find them both on Amazon.  I actually have both of them and can’t say enough good things about the recipes.  He has figured out ways to strip out a lot of the calories and fat of some of our favorite comfort food dishes while still retaining the flavor.  One of my favorites is his No-Cream No-Cry Penne alla Vodka from his original Now Eat This! book.  This pasta is so good, you won’t miss all the fat & calories at all!

No-Cream No-Cry Penne alla Vodka
Serves 4

8 ounces whole wheat penne
2 cups low-fat marinara (Rocco includes a recipe for one in the book on pg 206)
Pinch of crushed red pepper
7 ounces 2% Greek yogurt
1 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbsp. grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions, about 9 minutes; drain.

While the pasta is cooking, bring the marinara sauce and crushed red pepper to a simmer in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat.Cook the sauce, stirring it occasionally with a heat- resistant rubber spatula, until it is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the sauté pan from the heat.

Stir about 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce into the yogurt until smooth (this tempers it and prevents the yogurt from curdling). Then whisk the yogurt mixture back into the marinara sauce.

In a large serving bowl, toss the sauce with the drained penne and the basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the cheese on top, and serve.

Nutritional Information:

Before: 60g fat, 618 calories
After: 4.8g fat, 320 calories

18g protein, 55g carbohydrates, 11mg cholesterol, 6g fiber, 416mg sodium

If you want to see more of Rocco’s recipes from both books, check out the recipe apps on his Facebook page.  You can find links for both in the navigation menu on the left side of the page.

  • Christy_TheSistherhood

    I just made this for dinner tonight, and it’s AWESOME!! The kids love it, too. It only took 10 minutes to whip up – so you should name it 10 minute Penne alla Vodka!!

  • conegirl

    416g of sodium……wow. Sounds like a great recipe with yogurt but did everyone account for the 416g of sodium. Pretty high and not a healthy meal.

    • shrinkingjeans

      Thanks for your comment! 416 grams of sodium is a lot less than this dish’s restaurant counterpart would have! We aim to make things as healthy as possible around here, but we’re not always perfect! If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share then with us.

    • LissaJoy

      Also? It’s 426 mg of sodium, not grams.

    • Jessica Bero

      It says 416 mg of sodium. Your body needs a minimum of 1200 mg a day to maintain homeostasis. An active individual can consume up to 2500 mg of sodium and it’s not an issue.

    • Emma C.

      Could use a no-salt-added marinara

  • Emmelle

    Where is the vodka? Am I missing something everyone else can see?!

    • Danielle Alotta

      I agree, lol. I don’t see the vodka as one of the ingredients, hmmm.

    • Emma C.

      Exactly what I was thinking. Could add a splash.

  • Kristen

    This sounds wonderful! I’m going to try this recipe this week. I’m going to put 2T-1/4 cup of vodka in my sauce to make a true vodka sauce.

  • Kara

    Where is the vodka???

  • Anne

    This is sooo good!!! I even used it with nonfat greek yogurt and it tasted amazing! you don’t need the vodka for it to taste like penne alla vodka :-)

  • Erin Wichman

    Where is a vodka ingredient?

  • Audrey

    This was ABSOLUTELY delicious! Simple, healthy, creamy- this is a winner!

  • Sarah

    Is the nutritional information (320 calories) for the entire recipe, or just a serving size (1/4 of the recipe)?

    • Sisterhood of the Shrinking Je

      It’s just for a serving – 1/4 of the recipe :)

      Christy Mensi
      The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans
      Shrinking Kitchen

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