Vodka sauce: Gigi Hadid's recipe for this pasta sauce is all over Insta

Gigi Hadid finally shared THE vodka sauce recipe for pasta that has been lighting up Insta feeds everywhere. This is it

vodka sauce
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Vodka sauce is good in itself, but when a superstar model like Gigi Hadid makes it so well, of course we want to know her recipe secrets. And finally, Gigi came around to put both our minds, and our appetites, at ease. 

So here we have it, a delicious and wholesome, yet summery and fun vodka sauce recipe that is guaranteed to turn your standard penne pasta evening into something a little more glam. There's tomato, there's fresh basil, and of course, there is vodka, so you really can't go wrong. 

We've done the maths and this recipe shouldn't take longer than thirty minutes either, so you can whip this up mid-week no problem. Keep scrolling for the recipe reveal and if you want more recipe inspiration, check out the Real Homes food hub.

What does vodka sauce taste like?

It's a veritable upgrade from your usual arrabbiata. You'll get all the warming notes of pepper, fiery chilli, sweet tomato and nutty parmesan – so tasty – but the vodka adds an unbeatable smooth finish. For a supposedly flavourless ingredient – and you're not using much of it – it adds heaps of depth and helps marry all the other flavours going on perfectly. This meal really packs a punch and is a solid crowd-pleaser.

Tempted to add more vodka? Don't. There's a fine line between a balance of flavours, and a mismatched food cocktail. Avoid unless you are cooking for more people, in which case, you'll need to multiply all the ingredients listed to cater for however many more mouths you need to feed.

Worried about the alcohol content? If so, add the vodka earlier than this recipe states so that it has time to simmer down which will reduce the alcohol content to just 5%.

Cooking with kids? If you want to avoid alcohol at all costs, you could try subbing it for a little balsamic vinegar. It won't be the same, so we would make separate versions – one for the grownups and one for the children – so that you can enjoy this recipe in all its glory.

How to make vodka sauce with penne pasta just like Gigi


Serves 4

  • 1 shallot
  • 3 tbps butter (unsalted)
  • 2 tbps extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 200g passata
  • 2 tbps triple distilled vodka
  • 450g penne pasta
  • 120ml double cream
  • 50g grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more to serve
  • A sprig of fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried crushed red chilli
  • Salt and pepper


1. Soften the shallot and garlic in olive oil, in a pan on a low heat.

2. Add the chilli flakes, passata, basil and seasoning before cooking gently for a further 10 minutes. 

3. Meanwhile, bring a pan of salted water to the boil to cook the penne 'al dente'.

4. Drain the pasta, melt the butter in another pan and toss the pasta in it to coat.

5. Add the cream along with your tomato sauce on a high heat, stirring to combine completely.

6. Finally, add the vodka, toss again.

7. Take it off the heat, add in half the parmesan until melted then sprinkle the last of it over the top with roughly torn basil to serve.

More pasta recipes:

Camille Dubuis-Welch
Former Deputy Editor

I'm Cam, the former deputy editor of Real Homes who worked on the site from 2020 to 2023. As a renter myself, sharing a home with two friends (and my cat) in London, I know all too well the challenges that this can pose when it comes to creating your perfect setup. As someone who has always loved everything interior design-related, I cannot rest until a home feels right and I am really passionate about helping others get there too, no matter what their living situation, style, or budget may be. It’s not always the easiest to figure out, but the journey is fun and the results are so worth it.

After interior design, travel, art, and photography are my next big passions. When I’m not writing or editing homes content, I’m usually tapping into other creative outlets, exploring galleries in London or further afield, taking photos, scribbling, or drawing!