Penne alla Vodka

Do you see a running theme in my life? Most of my recipes involve pasta! So I love listening to music as I cook. I feel like it really ehances the cooking experience for me. I usually put pandora on and just get down. It adds a little something extra when Chad isn’t home which is the case tonight. I wasn’t ashamed to listen to pop music (bbmak) while cooking. I switched to Something Corporate at some point but if you dread cooking put some music on, pour yourself a drink of your favorite beverage (Water for me) and let the music inspire you in the kitchen. haha

Anyways, I love this version of Penne Alla Vodka. To add Vodka in the title seems unnecessary since there is no vodka in this particular recipe. I’m honestly not sure if I’ve ever had a real version of Penne Alla Vodka. . It’s healthier because it replaces your traditional cream with greek yogurt and then obviously there is no vodka.

I do have a few pointers for this recipe. If you follow it directly it’s kinda bland tasting. I’ve learned to spice it up by adding italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, and fresh basil.  Tonight might be the best I’ve ever made the recipe! Anyways it take about a half hour to cook assuming you don’t get side tracked with texting, facebooking, and rocking out to music like I end up ALWAYS doing! haha. This is absolutely one of my favorite recipes to make and hopefully you will enjoy it too!

Happy Cooking 🙂

Rocco DiSpirito’s Penne alla Vodka

8 oz whole wheat penne

2 cups Rocco’s How Low Can You Go Low-Fat Marinara Sauce (I use Prego heart healthy since it has 1/2 a serving of vegetables in it)

Pinch of crushed red pepper

1 (7 oz) container 2% Greek yogurt

1 cup chopped fresh basil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons 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 ½ 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.


Recipe in pictures:


This is right after you add the greek yogurt



Once you’ve stirred the greek yogurt it turns to a light shad of red/pink



Fresh Basil!



Fresh Basil in sauce



Finished Product



Here is the link there are a lot of awesome recipes on Dr. Oz’s website


2 thoughts on “Penne alla Vodka

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