Have you heard of Gigi Hadid's pasta recipe? It's also known as spicy vodka pasta, which is a bit of a classic, but it took on a new life back in 2020 after the supermodel shared her favorite pasta on social media. Since then, it's become one of those trending, viral recipes that everyone has to try.
In this recipe, we show you how to make Gigi Hadid's Spicy Vodka Pasta easily with our step-by-step photos, how-to video and recipe tips. Plus, we share two delicious variations so you can enjoy this pasta whichever way you prefer.
🍝 What Is A Spicy Vodka Pasta?
Spicy vodka pasta, also known as Penne alla Vodka, is a flavorful dish that combines the heat of spices with the richness of creamy tomato vodka sauce.
It's a classic Italian-American recipe that has gained popularity for its irresistible taste and comforting qualities, the hallmarks of Comforting Eats recipes.
To create this dish, al dente penne pasta is tossed in a velvety tomato-based sauce infused with vodka and a kick of spice.
The sauce is typically made by sautéing garlic and onions in olive oil, then adding crushed tomatoes (tomato paste in Gigi Hadid's recipe), heavy cream, and a generous splash of vodka. The vodka adds a unique depth of flavor while also helping to enhance the overall creaminess of the sauce.
Don't worry, the alcohol evaporates from the dish during cooking, but if you are worried, you can make this pasta without vodka. You can also try our blush sauce pasta recipe, which has similar qualities.
The real star of the show, though, is the spice. Usually, red pepper flakes or chili flakes are added to the sauce, providing a fiery kick that balances out the richness. The amount of spice can be adjusted to suit your personal preference, whether you prefer a mild tingle or a fiery explosion of heat.
The final result is a delightful harmony of flavors—tangy tomatoes, creamy vodka-infused sauce, and a touch of spiciness that awakens your taste buds. This dish is often garnished with fresh herbs like basil or parsley and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese to add an extra layer of deliciousness.
Spicy vodka pasta is a go-to comfort food for those who enjoy a little heat in their meals. It's a dish that brings warmth, flavor, and a satisfyingly spicy kick to any dining experience.
Below, you will learn how to make Gigi Hadid's spicy vodka pasta with two optional toppings: crispy bacon or grilled shrimp, both of which take the pasta to the next level and add extra protein.
If you like creamy pasta recipes, make sure to check out our chicken broccoli Alfredo with penne pasta.
Pasta - you can use pasta shells or larger shapes like rigatoni or penne. The shells are great for holding onto the delicious spicy vodka sauce.
For the vodka sauce - olive oil, red or white onion, garlic, chili flakes, tomato paste, a little vodka,butter, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, salt and basil for garnish.
📷 How To Make Spicy Vodka Pasta
The full recipe card with ingredients and nutritional information is below but here are some handy step-by-step pictures.
Step 1. Cook pasta shells per packet instructions, make sure to add a teaspoon of salt to the water. Strain but reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water to add to the sauce.
Step 2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped red onion and salt and sauté for 3-4 minutes until it softens and turns golden brown.
Step 3. Add garlic and sauté for another minute, then pour in the vodka (if using) and stir.
Step 4. Then follow with tomato paste and stir for 30 seconds, allowing the paste and vodka to cook off slightly.
Step 5. Pour in the heavy cream and stir through.Add the chili flakes and stir through for 10-15 seconds.
Step 6. Whisk in the grated Parmesan cheese and allow it to melt slightly.
Step 7. Throw in the drained pasta, with a splash of cooking pasta water, and stir through for a minute, allowing the cheese to melt and the sauce to incorporate into the pasta. You can add a dollop of butter to make the sauce even more luxurious.
Finish with a few extra chili flakes, chopped basil leaves and more Parmesan.
🎞 Watch How To Make It
This delicious vodka pasta is great on its own but you can kick it up a notch with extra toppings and additions. For a vegetarian option, you can stir in some pan-fried mushrooms, grilled asparagus, baby peas, or spinach leaves.
If you want to add extra protein toppings, you can pan-fry a couple of bacon rashers, chop them up, and top the pasta. Grilled shrimp is another fantastic addition to the pasta. Or, why not combine both for a spicy vodka pasta with shrimp and bacon!
Spicy Vodka Pasta (aka Gigi Hadid's Pasta)
- 4 cups pasta shells
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ large red onion finely diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves of garlic large, finely diced or minced
- 1 fl oz vodka 2 tablespoons
- ¼ cup tomato paste about 2 tbsp
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- ⅔ cup ⅔ cup heavy cream thickened cream
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter optional
- 4 basil leaves for garnish
- Cook pasta shells per packet instructions, make sure to add a teaspoon of salt to the water. Once cooked, strain but reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water to add to the sauce. Set aside.
Make the spicy vodka sauce
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped red onion and salt and saute for 3-4 minutes until it softens and turns golden brown.
- Add garlic and saute for another minute, then pour in the vodka (if using) and stir. Then follow with tomato paste and stir for 30 seconds, allowing the paste and vodka to cook off slightly.
- Pour in the heavy cream and add the chili flakes. Stir, then add and whisk in the grated Parmesan cheese. Stir through and throw in the drained pasta, with a splash of cooking pasta water, and stir through for a minute, allowing the cheese to melt and the sauce to incorporate into the pasta. You can add a dollop of butter to make the sauce even more luxurious.
- Finish with a few extra chili flakes, chopped basil leaves and more Parmesan.
- If you would like to add extra toppings, you can pan-fry a couple of bacon rashers, then chop them up and top the pasta. Grilled shrimp is another fantastic addition to the pasta.