Recipe: Daen Lia's Pasta Alla Vodka

APR 27|5 min read

Here at Adairs we love a good plate of food!

While we may fancy ourselves world-class cooks, we thought it best to turn to the experts, and introduce you to some of our favourite chefs and recipes.

A woman in a pink and white check dress stands at an outdoor table, holding up a large bowl of pasta alla vodka. The table is set with bowls and plates, glasses and pink vase filled with pink flowers.

Introducing Daen Lia

“Nothing says comfort like a big bowl of pasta. Pasta alla vodka has been around for years but recently it’s been making a comeback. It’s made with a whole tin of tomato paste that is mixed through with vodka and finished off with cream, cheese and butter. The secret to the success of a vodka sauce is to fry off the tomato paste until it’s caramalised - but the magic really happens when you stir through the butter and cheese. You’ll be left with the silkiest, glossiest, and creamiest of sauces.”

A bowl of pasta alla vodka on a table surrounded by serving ware, drinking glasses and pink vase filled with flowers.

Pasta alla vodka by Daen Lia


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 140g tomato paste
  • 100ml vodka
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 500g penne pasta


  1. Bring a pot of heavily salted water to the boil and cook your pasta according to the instructions on the back of the packet. For al dente pasta drain your pasta 2 minutes before the end of suggested cooking time, as it will continue to cook when it’s stirred through the sauce. Reserve 1/2 - 1 cup of pasta water.
  2. In a deep dish pan on a low flame, heat the olive oil and fry the onions and garlic for 5 minutes or until fragrant and translucent. Stir occasionally to stop the garlic from burning. Add the oregano and chili flakes and fry for a further 2 minutes.
  3. In the same pan on a high heat, fry the tomato paste for 2 - 3 minutes or until it has caramalised, turned a deep red colour and is almost sticking to the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and add the vodka. Cook until 80% of the liquid has been absorbed. Add in the cream and cook for 1 minute on a medium heat or until the cream has foamed and is bubbling. Turn the heat to low and stir the sauce with a pinch of salt until all ingredients are well combined.
  4. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and mix through with the pecorino romano and butter. Slowly incorporate the pasta water until the sauce is silky and glossy. Finish off with an extra sprinkling of cheese and chili flakes. Serve immediately.

“I serve my pasta in the gorgeous Azzura range of servingware. From the moment I saw this collection, I knew I had to make a red pasta sauce, as the red compliments the subtle notes of brown and pink so perfectly!” - Daen Lia

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