Chefs' Recipes

Capitano's conchiglie with vodka sauce

Reserve your judgement. Pasta with vodka sauce might be old-school, but it's also delicious.

By Casey Wall
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking
  • Serves 4 - 6
  • Print
"Equal parts naff and amazing, this is one of those dishes that seems to always be good no matter the circumstances," says Capitano's Casey Wall of this recipe for pasta with vodka sauce. "It is almost impossible to stop eating this until you get ill from carb overload."


  • 400 gm conchiglie or similarly shaped pasta
  • 750 ml (3 cups) basic tomato sauce or sugo of your choice
  • 250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream
  • 80 ml vodka
Onion-garlic butter
  • 100 gm butter
  • 250 gm onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced


  • 1
    For onion-garlic butter, melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add onion, garlic and 2 tsp salt, cover with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft (25-30 minutes). Transfer
    to a blender and purée (be careful, hot butter will spit).
  • 2
    Cook pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente (10-12 minutes). Drain, reserving pasta water.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, combine tomato sauce, onion-garlic butter, cream and vodka in a saucepan over high heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by a quarter and sauce is emulsified (8-10 minutes).
  • 4
    Fold pasta into sauce, adding a splash of pasta water if needed to help thin out the sauce (it should coat the pasta evenly). Serve immediately.


Wine suggestion A light, bright and fresh red such as the 2017 sangiovese-based blend Le Coste Litrozzo Rosso from Lazio.