Kitty Williams’ Alla Vodka pasta bake

This pasta is “right up there” as one of cook Kitty Williams’ favourite recipes in her new book Just a Little Bit Naughty. Her advice is not to be put off by the vodka in this dish, as it gives the sauce an incredible depth.


  • 500ml cream
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely diced
  • 400g shell pasta
  • 280g tomato paste
  • 150g parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 Tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • Mozzarella balls
  • Basil
  • Butter

Herb & garlic breadcrumbs

  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1/2 garlic clove, finely diced
  • Butter

Method, serves 4

  1. Preheat oven to 200 deg C.
  2. Bring a pot of water to the boil and add pasta shells. Cook until al dente.
  3. Place a pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter along with the shallots, chilli flakes, and garlic. Stir for a couple of minutes or until the shallots are translucent. Add the tomato paste and stir. The tomato paste needs to darken. Let parts of it stick to the pan. This adds to the flavour. Add the vodka which will deglaze the pan. Stir for at least a minute, then add cream.
  4. Simmer and let the sauce reduce. Season to taste and add parmesan cheese. Add the pasta shells to the sauce and stir. Transfer to a baking dish, add mozzarella, and put in the oven until the cheese has melted.
  5. Place a pan over a medium to high heat and add butter, panko crumbs, garlic, dried herbs, and keep stirring until golden brown.
  6. Garnish the pasta with more parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and fresh basil.



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