Spicy Pasta alla Vodka with ‘Nduja. Imagine tender pasta tossed in a spicy tomato vodka sauce that’s super creamy, smooth and so delicious. The secret to this silky pasta? ‘Nduja sausage, cream and plenty of cheese. ‘Nduja adds a fiery layer of flavor and richness to this tasty pasta dish. Serve this 15-minute dinner up any night of the week. It’s next level delicious and not to mention that everyone loves a good creamy vodka pasta. Keep a spot in your heart for the classic vodka sauce, but try this one, too. Enjoy!
What is ‘Nduja?
If you’re cooking with ‘Nduja for the first time, it’s a spreadable, soft and spicy sausage from Calabria, that consists of pork meat and Calabrian red chilli peppers. It can be used in many ways, from spreading on bruschetta, swirling into risotto, topping a pizza to adding to pasta sauces. But unlike fresh sausage, it’s the kind of ingredient you can keep in the fridge for whenever the occasion arises.
In this case, ‘nduja adds lots of deliciously rich and spicy flavors, and elevates your vodka sauce to the next level.
Why you’ll love this pasta alla vodka with ‘nduja
This pasta is simple and focuses on the traditional flavors of pasta alla vodka, like garlic, a tomato base, cream and parmesan. The key is to use tomato paste and grated garlic for a silky smooth and fast result. We slowly sweat the garlic in olive oil to release its flavor, then stir in the tomato paste and ‘nduja sausage, cook those for a couple of minutes to really help intensify the flavors in the sauce.
Next vodka goes into the pan, it adds a sharp bite that helps to boost the flavors and intensify the aroma of the tomato sauce. We slowly let the vodka simmer into the sauce to cook out the alcohol. Once that’s done, stir in cream and toss with the pasta.
This one will leave you with nothing but excitement for dinner. It’s really good, like roll-your-eyes-back good… and next time you’re having some friends over, knock their socks off with this deliciously amazing recipe.
Let me guide you through the recipe with this step-by-step VIDEO.
- ‘Nduja is a spicy sausage, if you’d like to try it but you’re afraid your pasta will be too spicy, use just 50 g/2 oz for a milder taste… and if you like your vodka sauce blow-your-socks-off spicy, add as much ‘nduja as your heat loving taste buds will allow.
- You can find ‘Nduja in a larger supermarket, in shops that specialize in Italian products or online.
- Serve with a big side salad.
- And the pasta? I love to use shells. They’re able to catch plenty of sauce, but use any short cut pasta you love or have on hand.
How to store spicy pasta alla vodka
- Fridge: Keep your leftovers in airtight containers, it will stay fresh for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: Transfer the pasta with sauce to airtight containers before freezing. It’ll maintain its deliciousness for about 3 months.
- Make ahead: You can also prepare this dish in advance, keep the pasta and sauce separate in the fridge and reserve some cooking water. Then combine, reheat before serving and add a splash of the cooking water, and done!
Try These Next
- Linguine with Creamy ‘Nduja Tomato Sauce
- Spicy Rigatoni alla Vodka with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Pepperoni Pizza with ‘Nduja and Hot Honey
Spicy Pasta alla Vodka with 'Nduja
- 10.5 ounces pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves grated
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 4.5 ounces double concentrated tomato paste
- 1/3 cup vodka
- 1 cup cream 20% fat
- 3.5 ounces 'nduja sausage less for a slightly spicy taste
- 1.5 ounces grated Parmesan
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Scoop up 1/2 cup cooking water and drain the pasta.
- While the pasta is boiling, prepare the sauce. Start by grating the garlic.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over low. Add garlic and sweat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in spices, add tomato paste and increase the heat to high. Stir almost constantly and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in 'nduja sausage and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add vodka, stir and simmer for 2 minutes over low. Pour in cream and bring to a simmer. Stir in Parmesan, add the pasta and ¼ cup cooking water, toss to combine. Stir until the sauce thickens slightly, and the pasta is coated with a silky saucy layer. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the remaining pasta water, if needed. Finish off with black pepper. Serve immediately!