vodka sauce pasta on pale yellow plate with small dish of red pepper flakes

As a celebration for how much you guys have been loving my new Sunday Gatherings weekly newsletter, I decided to share one of the exclusive recipes from the Sunday dinner series! Each week, my newsletter included a comforting, simple Sunday night dinner- often a secret family recipe or just a favorite authentic Italian dish.

My family secret vodka sauce recipe was featured in the first ever Sunday Gatherings newsletter a few weeks ago, and I wanted to let this one live on the blog! I was so happy seeing how many of you made this :). One of the goals of the Sunday dinner series is to inspire you to stay connected to your roots- whatever that may mean for you in the kitchen. For me, it’s enjoying these family recipes without adapting them to be paleo, vegan, etc. Just authentically, and deliciously, the way they were mean to be made! This is a big part of my healthy relationship with food, and I absolutely love this part of my Sundays.

ingredient layout shot for vodka sauce pasta

This vodka sauce recipe is SO simple! With a short ingredient list, and minimal prep required, this is the perfect simple + comforting Sunday night dinner.

This is one of my family’s all time favorites. We typically serve this with bowtie pasta, but you can use whatever you have on hand!

vodka sauce pasta on pale yellow plates with small dish of red pepper flakes and glass of white wine

A quick simmer of the tomatoes, vodka sauce, cream, and a few other simple ingredients and you have the most amazing sauce. I’m seriously drooling thinking about it!!

More on Sunday Gatherings:

If you want my newsletter to hit your inbox every Sunday, scroll to the bottom of this post to subscribe! No spam- just one email per week with mini meal plans, products I’m loving, books I’m reading, etc. Plus some Sunday dinner inspo 🙂 I send the newsletter out early Sunday so that you can plan your groceries accordingly, for both the mini meal plan and the dinner recipe!

vodka sauce pasta on pale yellow plate with small dish of red pepper flakes

I’m so SO happy with the response I’ve gotten and kind messages about the newsletter. It takes more work than I anticipated, but it’s totally worth it to me. I love this new way to connect with you all, and share some extra inspiration. It’s meant to feel like we are enjoying our Sunday morning coffee together, getting ready for the week ahead.

Anyways, I hope you love this Zarlengo family recipe. I can’t wait to hear what you think! If you make this, or any Gathered Nutrition recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram! I love seeing what recipes you guys are enjoying! xx

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My Family’s Vodka Sauce

  • Author: Mia Zarlengo
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner


Zarlengo family vodka sauce!


  • 1 lb pasta (gluten free if necessary)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 34 garlic cloves, minced 
  • Handful of diced green onions
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 1 small can black olives (optional)
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 46 chicken breasts, browned (or 6 oz chopped prosciutto) (leave out for meat free)*
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Saute olive oil on medium-low heat in a large skillet with garlic and green onion for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. 
  2. Stir in vodka, crushed tomatoes, olives (optional), and crushed red pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes (reduce heat if necessary). 
  3. If you are adding the pre-cooked chicken (or prosciutto), add to the simmering sauce and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. 
  4. Add the salt and heavy cream. Simmer an additional 5 minutes; pour over cooked pasta. 


*You can leave the meat out completely. If you are adding chicken, make sure it’s pre-cooked. 

Gluten Free, Lunch + Dinner, Recipes


Dec 3, 2019

My Family’s Vodka Sauce

Did you make this recipe? Be sure to tag @gatherednutrition on INstagram so I can see what you made! Leaving a rating and review on the site is a huge help too!

  1. Sophia says:

    How would you make this diary free? The recipe looks amazing but I can’t have heavy cream ????

  2. Lilly says:

    I made this the other day and it’s the best vodka pasta i’ve ever had, actually probably one of the best pasta dishes overall i’ve ever had!!!

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Simple. Attainable. Gathered Nutrition.