Vodka Pasta with Brussel Sprouts and Italian Sausage


Vodka Pasta

Homemade vodka pasta sauce from scratch. It takes time, but it’s totally worth the work and effort to make this dish.  I made two trays of pasta with this recipe for a birthday party. However, I am dedicating this recipe to my lovely friend Kelsey who loves grilled cheese, but I figure hey vodka pasta might come in as a close second for her love of cheese and carbs?  Well I hope you all find this recipe worth a shot to make.  No, you don’t have to make as much as I did just make enough to serve the family or a few friends you want to have over. This is a long process of cooking, because the sauce is made from a mother sauce and three cooking methods to this recipe before you get to the end product, but it’s so worth it if you have the time and patience for this fabulous recipe that feed a party of five easily.

Vodka Pasta with brussels sprouts and Italian Sausage (mild or hot your choice) serving size 4-5 people


roasted ingredients

1 lb of  Brussels sprouts, washed, cut end off and dice in halves

3 store bought Italian sausage (unless you make your own)

1 Teaspoon olive oil

1 Teaspoon salt and ground black pepper

3 cloves of minced garlic

2 Teaspoon of aged  balsamic vinegar

Pasta sauce – mother sauce first

2 cans of San Marzano tomatoes

1 small white or Spanish onion peeled, sliced in halves

1/2 stick of unsalted butter

2 cloves peeled garlic

2 dried bay leaves



2 boxes penne pasta

1/2 cup of heavy cream

1 cup of vodka

1/4 cup of  kosher salt for pasta water



1 Tablespoon kosher salt and crushed red pepper

1 cup of mozzarella cheese or Italian three cheese mix shredded  (store bought is fine)

1/2 cup of minced flat leaf Parsley


First procedures before anything we need to make roasted  Brussels sprouts

  • Preheat oven to roast at 400 degrees on convention oven bake setting
  • Wash and cut the Brussels sprouts; cut in halves, place into a mixing bowl
  • sprinkle about one Tablespoon of olive oil all over the  Brussels sprouts and then add
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • drizzle about 1 teaspoon of Balsamic vinegar all over the Brussel sprouts and combine the seasoning well with your clean hands or toss gently in the bowl.
  • Place the Brussel Sprouts on a full size sheet pan and add three Italian sausage in the center of the pan allowing for the oils of the sausage juice to be absorbed into the sprouts for flavor.
  • Place into a hot oven of 400 degrees for about 25 minutes and then take out of the oven; set aside to cool while other parts of the recipe has to be completed.

Second procedure: mother sauce

  • 2  cans of San Marzano
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 peeled white or Spanish onion and cut in halves
  • 2 peeled garlic cloves
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Next place all these items into a pot and simmer it on low for about 50 minutes. No lid on the pot, as we want it to simmer.

Vodka Pasta Making time

  • Fill a large pot with 5-6 cups of water and turn the heat on to medium high. Add about 1/4 cup of kosher salt; dissolve completely in the hot water.
  • Add pasta to water when at boiling point; stir the pasta around every few minutes. Cook pasta according to the box instructions, but you want it a little al dente, because you will bake in the oven for the last process of this recipe.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, strain out into colander and  cool it down with cold water to stop the cooking process. Then add a little bit of olive oil so it doesn’t stick together.
  • Next taking the mother sauce, take out the onions, garlic cloves and bay leaves.
  • Cut up the Italian sausage into thin or medium slices, your choice. Taking a larger sauce pan or wok; place on medium high heat and add some olive oil to the pot and then brown the Italian sausage just a little more; now add the cooled down Brussel sprouts and then pour in the mother sauce and turn the heat down to medium simmer, add 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of vodka, let it simmer for about 20 minutes allowing the alcohol to reduce.  Next turn on the oven and pre heat at 400 degrees.
  • Combine the pasta noodles with the creamy vodka sauce that has brussel sprouts and Italian sausage.  Place in a baking casserole tray and spread some shredded Italian cheese over it.  Bake in the oven for about 18 minutes and lastly, garnish with fresh chopped flat leaf parsley. Serve it up immediately to hungry folks.


catering pasta