Shrimp In Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce With Rigatoni

By / Food / July 31st, 2013 / 2

When I moved to Los Angeles, my very first restaurant meal was Vodka Shrimp. Although it’s not necessarily a West Coast staple, Vodka Shrimp does remind me of my first few weeks in Tinseltown. Passata di Pomodoro is Italian tomato sauce sold in tall glass jars. If you can’t find it, substitute a large can of good quality crushed tomatoes. Leave the parsley and basil whole and remove before serving. You can add the shrimp to the sauce to cook it, but I prefer giving the shrimp a high-heat sauté in a grill pan to slightly caramelize it.

Shrimp In Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce With Rigatoni

Rating: 51

Serves: serves 4 to 6


  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 3 shallots, peeled and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3/4 cup vodka, more or less to taste
  • 1 jar Passata di Pomodoro
  • A few sprigs of fresh parsley
  • Several fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 package rigatoni, cooked


  1. In large skillet, in 1 tbsp olive oil, sauté shallots until softened over medium-high heat. Add garlic, sauté 1 minute. Carefully add vodka.
  2. Cook 1 minute. Add Passata di Pomodoro, parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a ridged grill pan, in remaining 1 tbsp oil, sauté shrimp over high heat until cooked through and slightly browned on the edges.
  4. Add shrimp to sauce. Stir in cream. Gently heat through. Remove parsley and basil before serving. Serve over rigatoni.

Drink Suggestion:

Excellent and elegant with a Pouilly-Fuissé.

Quench Food Editor, Nancy Johnson, minced, sliced, chopped, sautéed and sipped her way through George Brown College’s culinary program with a focus on food writing and wine. Nancy cooks by the code her Italian grandmother taught her: For the best results, always use the freshest, best ingredients. She writes for Ohio-based Wine Buzz Magazine and recently published a short story in Woman’s World Magazine. She is always on a diet.

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