Creamy Roasted Tomato Vodka Sauce with Penne
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This creamy vodka sauce pasta is fulfilling on its own, but see my tips in the post above for tasty dairy-free add-in options.
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 lbs cherry, grape or mini tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt, divided, plus additional to taste
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, whole, unpeeled (optional)
  • 1 shallots, thinly sliced or minced (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ cup vodka (or two 50 mL mini bottles)
  • ½ cup raw cashew pieces
  • ¾ to 1 cup unsweetened cashew milk beverage (can sub unsweetened coconut milk beverage)
  • 4 large basil leaves, minced
  • 12 ounces dry penne (gluten-free, if needed)
  1. Preheat your oven to 375ºF.
  2. Place the tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Place the garlic, if using, on the baking sheet. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the tomato skins have "popped" and are starting to brown in spots.
  3. Let the tomatoes cool 10 minutes, then add tomatoes with juices to a blender. Squeeze garlic pulp, if using, into the blender and add ½ teaspoon salt. Puree until smooth.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallots, if using, and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add red pepper and continue to saute 30 seconds.
  5. Remove from heat, whisk in tomato puree and vodka. Return to the heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. While the sauce simmers, grind the cashews in a spice grinder until powdered. Add the cashew flour, ¾ cup cashew milk beverage, and ½ teaspoon salt to your blender, and whiz until smooth and creamy. If desired, strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove any remaining nut bits.
  7. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  8. Whisk the cashew cream into the tomato sauce, and continue to simmer for a few minutes, or until thickened. Add more cashew milk beverage if the sauce thickens too much. Taste test, and sprinkle in more salt, to taste (we use another ¼ to ½ teaspoon)
  9. Stir penne into sauce. Serve topped with fresh basil.
Cheesiness - This sauce is also delicious with 1 to 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast blended with the cashew cream. It offers a light cheesy flavor in this amount, without overpowering.
Acidity - If the sauce tastes a bit too acidic (can depend on your tomatoes), add a dash of sugar or a pinch of baking soda.
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at