This silky, smooth and extra creamy pesto pasta alla vodka is the perfect cozy winter recipe we need most. Fresh pasta tossed in a delicious tomato pesto vodka sauce? Yes please! The secret to this one-pot pasta is the surprising addition of basil pesto, plus plenty of cheese on top. The pesto adds a vibrant layer of flavor and richness to this silky, smooth, and creamy pasta. Serve this 30-minute dinner up any night of the week. It’s delicious and looks pretty on any table… not to mention that everyone loves a good creamy vodka pasta. This dish will be your new go-to when serving family and friends over the holidays.
Like clockwork every December I begin thinking about my family’s favorite vodka pasta. I have made so many versions over the years, but this recipe is my favorite. It’s classic, but with the small twist of basil pesto, which of course only makes this vodka pasta that much more delicious. I don’t know what it is about December days, but they always leave me craving some form of pasta in red sauce. I have to say, this pasta alla vodka feels the most fitting. Not only for its simplicity and deliciousness, but the pretty red and green colors feel extra festive. Perfect for this time of year.
I know, I know, there she goes again with all the holiday talk. But I’m really grabbing onto anything and everything that adds even just a little holiday happiness into the world this year! And pasta always makes everything better. Especially a creamy vodka pasta.
So, what does the vodka actually do? The vodka adds a sharp bite that helps to balance out the sweetness of the tomatoes. When used in small amounts, the vodka will boost and intensify the aroma of the sauce. The key is to slowly simmer vodka into the sauce. This will release its flavors and cook out the alcohol. If you prefer to not cook with alcohol, swap the vodka for chicken broth, vegetable broth, or even just water. That will be totally fine and your sauce will still be great.
This is the perfect dinner to serve up this holiday season, even if it’s just one or two of you this year! The leftovers are just as delicious. You can prepare the dish in advance, keep it fully assembled in the fridge, and then bake before serving. I love dishes like this for holiday entertaining… they make life so easy! You can even prepare the sauce way ahead of time, then just add the pasta before you’re ready to serve. This would make a great dinner party meal with a side salad and some bread.