The vodka in this delicious pasta cooks off and can not be tasted! It simply helps to enhance the flavours.
I think a good start to any a la vodka sauce is the pancetta. I started this recipe by browning 6 slices of pancetta without any oil and adding the sausage to the drippings, then launched into everything else. I also upped the vodka quantity to 1/4 of a cup and upped the heavy cream to 3/4 of a cup. I completely omitted the salt. I used Contadina crushed tomatos with roasted garlic. The meal was definitely "restaurant quality" - 11 Nov 2002 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
This recipe is top-notch and would rival any Penne a la Vodka that you'd order in an Italian restaurant. I prepared it almost to the letter, and it was perfect. I have also tried this a different way by making it a lowfat dish. I substituted turkey sausage, and instead of heavy cream, I used half and half blended with 1 tsp. of corn starch. It was a fantastic lower fat variation and tasted just as good as the original. - 05 Dec 2006 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
I changed this recipe. 3 tablespoons of white wine instead of vodka, added spinach, tomato sauce and extra red pepper flakes, simmered the sauce 30 minutes and melted parmesean and feta cheese. made for a large group. got rave reviews, tasted just like penne rosa from noodles and company! - 15 Jan 2006 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)