Vodka sauce

Vodka sauce
Type Sauce
Place of origin United States
Main ingredients Tomato sauce, vodka, typical Italian herbs, heavy cream
Cookbook: Vodka sauce  Media: Vodka sauce

Vodka sauce is an Italian-American cuisine[1] sauce made from a smooth tomato sauce, vodka, typical Italian herbs and heavy cream, which gives the sauce its distinctive pink coloration. It gained popularity in the 1970s, when a variation won a national recipe contest in Italy, although it may well have been a sauce before its popularization in the 1970s. It is a key ingredient in penne alla vodka.

The vodka's function is, ostensibly, to release flavors in the tomato that are normally inaccessible; using alcoholic beverages for this purpose is common in Italian cooking, although usually accomplished with wine.[2] It is also an emulsifier, serving to keep the sauce stable, when normally the oil of the cream sauce would react with the acidic tomato sauce to separate from the water in both.[3]


  1. Long, Lucy. Ethnic American Food Today: A Cultural Encyclopedia.
  2. Moskin, Julia (21 March 2007). "It Boils Down To This: Cheap Wine Works Fine". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  3. Stellar Culinary: What Is An Emulsion? A Cook's Guide
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