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Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Vodka Sauce

Get out of a boring dinner rut with this mouthwatering Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Vodka Sauce. Don’t be fooled by its title; this dish is as easy as it gets.

Penne with Sun Dried Tomato Vodka Sauce

Despite it being mid-September, our mini gardens are surprising us with an early-fall flourish. All summer long, the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and mints were barely hanging on.

We did grow superhero-sized raspberries, romaine lettuce, and kale {all on mysterious steroids} but the rest of the garden limped along sadly. We had pretty much given up on the limpers.

This was also the first summer The Littles got their own little pocket of land to plant whatever they chose to put into the ground. [We didn’t have the heart to tell them their watermelon seedling probably wouldn’t make it in this neck of the woods…]


At least we were able to convince the boys to plant some realistic stuff. They’ve been rewarded with plump, juicy cherry + grape tomatoes, red strawberries, and enough spearmint to make a mountain of chewing gum.

But here’s the thing. Now that we’re getting a bunch of late bloomer tomatoes ready to burst, our Littlest Little harvests them immediately and devours them like candy. He literally loves all tomatoes more than chocolate. Don’t ask.

Meaning I kinda have to fight a 6-year-old for my share of tomatoes. It’s a first come, first served deal. We’re weird.


Thankfully, there are sun-dried tomatoes in my panty all year round. Very few things can parallel the robustly aromatic flavor of sun-dried tomatoes.

Combine that with plenty of garlic, onion, spices, and oh yeah…vodka 🙂 You know it’s destined for deliciousness.

By the way, you can totally feed this to your kiddos. The alcohol content in the vodka is cooked off, leaving a finished sauce that has a soft, yummy zing to it.


Here’s to gardens that grow in their own timing.

Just when you least expect it.


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Penne with Sun Dried Tomato Vodka Sauce

Penne with Sun Dried Tomato Vodka Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Get out of a boring dinner rut with this mouthwatering Penne with Sun Dried Tomato Vodka Sauce. Don't be fooled by its title; this dish is as easy as it gets.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Amy Dong


  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • cup vodka
  • 12 oz dry penne pasta
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (I use the dry kind. If yours is packed in oil, drain first.)
  • 1 TB granulated sugar
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup plain whole yogurt
  • Freshly shaved parmesan for topping
  • Optional: chopped basil or parsley for garnish


  • In a large heavy pot, bring well-salted water to a boil. While you're waiting, place half of the diced tomatoes in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the vodka and remaining diced tomatoes. Set aside and keep warm.
  • Cook penne pasta just until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain very well, but don't rinse. Return drained pasta to pot and toss with 1 TB olive oil. Cover to keep warm.
  • In a large skillet, add 2 TB olive oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, add onion and garlic; stir 1 minute. Add sun-dried tomatoes, tomato-vodka sauce, sugar, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Stir and bring to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add yogurt and stir to incorporate, 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
  • Pour sauce over the warm pasta in pot, tossing to combine well. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese. If desired, garnish with chopped basil or parsley.


This dish is completely family-friendly. The alcohol content is cooked off and evaporated. You're left with a complex flavored sauce everyone will love.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 554kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 905mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 324IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Dinner, Main
Cuisine: Italian
Method: Stovetop

Source: Chew Out Loud

We’re big fans of easy weeknight pasta meals. Especially ones that grown-ups and kids alike will gobble up:

  1. Creamy Bruschetta Pasta. All the flavors of a tomato-basil bruschetta, in easy pasta form.

Creamy Bruschetta Pasta 8

  1. One-Pan Skillet Lasagna. Get all the yum of lasagna, without the layering and fuss. Perfect Tuesday night meal.

Easy Skillet Lasagna 3_edited-1

  1. One Pot Pizza Pasta. Make it pizza-pasta night, all in just one pot. No big mess to clean up.

One Pot Pizza Pasta

  1. Chunky Sausage and Vegetable Pasta Sauce. Gold medal jackpot. ↓↓ Our family’s favorite pasta sauce…chock full of Good For You in every bite. Great over all shapes and sizes of pastas. The possibilities are endless with this delectable sauce.

Chunky Vegetable and Sausage Pasta Sauce

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Recipe Rating


    • Jessica Krauss

    Could you substitute heavy cream or half & half for whole milk yogurt & still get it to the right flavor / consistency? Thanks!

      • chewoutloud

      Hi, Jessica! The closest sub would probably be sour cream, but I’ll bet you can use the heavy cream with good results. Hope you love it! Thanks for being here today 🙂

    • Amy

    What a gorgeous ode to summer! I love that this uses sundried tomatoes too – so much flavour! It’s going on the menu for next week in our house!

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, Amy! 🙂 Thanks for coming over today and hope you guys love it 🙂

    • thebrickkitchen

    Wow this pasta sauce looking amazing! Love the addition of sundried tomatoes and yogurt – perfect with a side of hot crusty bread! 🙂

      • chewoutloud

      Ooooh, you are SO right…crusty hot bread, here we come! Thanks for being here today 🙂

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