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Yunhee Kim Photo by: Yunhee Kim

Lighter Penne à la Vodka

Health APRIL 2009

  • Yield: Makes 8 servings
  • Cook time: 20 Minutes
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes


  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups bottled marinara sauce, preferably no-sugar-added
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk or plain soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound whole-grain penne
  • 1/4 cup vodka (inexpensive)
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add salt when simmering.

2. Warm marinara in a saucepan over medium heat. Slowly add milk, stirring until combined. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat; simmer until sauce reduces slightly. Add crushed red pepper.

3. Add penne to boiling water. Cook until almost done; add vodka to marinara mixture, and raise heat slightly. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.

4. In a large bowl, toss pasta with sauce and Parmigiano-Reggiano, adding some reserved water to thin sauce, if needed. Garnish with parsley, and serve.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 299
  • Fat: 4g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1g
  • Protein: 11g
  • Carbohydrate: 49g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 4mg
  • Iron: 2mg
  • Sodium: 409mg
  • Calcium: 76mg

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Lighter Penne à la Vodka Recipe