Skinny Girl’s Penne à la Vodka

This is a great tasting low cal version of our fav Penne a la vodka!


1 teaspoon salt
2 cups bottled marinara sauce, preferably   no-sugar-added
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk or plain soy milk
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 pound whole-grain penne
1/4 cup vodka (inexpensive)
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add salt when simmering.

2. Warm marinara in a saucepan over medium heat. Slowly add milk, stirring until combined. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat; simmer until sauce reduces slightly. Add crushed red pepper.

3. Add penne to boiling water. Cook until almost done; add vodka to marinara mixture, and raise heat slightly. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.

4. In a large bowl, toss pasta with sauce and Parmigiano-Reggiano, adding some reserved water to thin sauce, if needed. Garnish with parsley, and serve.

~ A Bethenny Frankel Recipe from Health Magazine, photo submitted by Nina Safar

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2 thoughts on “Skinny Girl’s Penne à la Vodka”

  • I modified this a bit- and it came out magnificent:
    1- Before warming the sauce, Saute 1 small very finely diced onion and one small clove garlic in a tsp of olive oil- then add sauce
    2. up the vodka level to 1/2 a cup
    – add black pepper, basil, a pinch of ginger, and a handful of shredded mozzarella

  • I found that 1 tablespoon of red pepper to be WAY too much. Mind you I dont love SPICY foods, but this was a bit beyond my tolerance level. I would cut the amount significantly.

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