The Planted Kitchen

Vegan Penne Alla Vodka


Since we’ve gotten back from Italy I feel like everything is breaking! My car battery died, our washing machine started acting wonky, the air conditioning in our house leaked ALL OVER the walls, and my dog has this thing where he’s losing fur and we’re not sure if it will grow back or not. And it’s not like shedding. He’s got two bald spots on the back of his hind legs. My poor puppy. I think that’s the thing that’s bothering me the most because everything else can fixed over time, but my poor little guy losing his fur just gets to me. I know in the grand scheme of things that him losing his fur is not a big deal. There are a lot worse things that can happen. I am thankful, especially given recent events both here in the United States and all over the world, that he’s healthy and that Matt and I, and our families and friends, are healthy. I am VERY thankful for that, I just didn’t expect my dog to be losing his fur because I didn’t know that was a thing that could happen. My dogs are like my children. Don’t judge me.

I took him to a dog dermatologist and she said to give him melatonin and fish oil, so hopefully that works. He’s just excited because he gets to take the melatonin with peanut butter. He takes medicine like a champ when there’s peanut butter involved.

I mean, who doesn’t like peanut butter? It’s pretty much the perfect food, aside from avocado. Avocado is actually the perfect food, except when it’s too ripe too eat. Other than that it’s perfection. I could eat it at every meal and never get tired of it.

Anyways, about this penne alla vodka.

Since Matt is Italian, we eat A LOT of pasta. I am very okay with this. When shopping for pasta sauces I get frustrated with the ingredients in a lot of them (aka sugar). I just feel that pasta sauce should be fresh and simple, not to mention flavorful, without all of the added junk. When we were in Italy about a month ago, I was in heaven! Everything was so fresh. So when we got back I was feeling inspired to make some homemade pasta sauces. Matt and I both love penne alla vodka, but it has dairy in it so we never ate it. Until now that is!

This recipe is Matt approved, which says a lot because he’s been eating Italian food in Italy since he was old enough to eat solid foods. That to me is HUGE! He wants to eat it every week now. As always, if you make this recipe, please use #theplantedkitchen on social media so I can see!

5 from 1 vote

Vegan Penne Alla Vodka

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Author Whitney


  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Broth
  • 16 Oz Gluten Free Penne (you can use regular penne too)
  • 1/2 White Onion minced
  • 4 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Can (14 oz) Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Can (14 oz) Tomato Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Vodka unflavored
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 tsp Salt to taste add more or less to taste
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper to taste add more or less to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes


  1. Cook pasta according to the back of the package.

  2. Mince onion and fresh garlic cloves (you can use pre-minced garlic if needed). Add vegetable broth, onion, and garlic to a pan and saute until the onions are slightly browned, about 5 minutes. When finished sautéing, add red pepper flakes.

  3. While the onions and garlic are sautéing, add the diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce to a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to the tomatoes and tomato sauce and still until combined.

  4. When the garlic and onions are done, add tomato mixture to the pan and simmer on low-medium heat until the sauce has thickened up a bit, about 10 minutes.

  5. Once the sauce has thickened, slowly add vodka and stir until it is mixed in.

  6. Next, slowly add coconut milk to the pan and stir until mixed in. Simmer until the sauce has thickened up again, about 7-10 minutes. Stir occasionally so the sauce doesn't burn. Turn off heat.

  7. Add cooked pasta to the sauce and mix until combined. Add vegan parmesan or more red pepper flakes if desired. Serve while hot.

Pasta with Spicy Poblano Marinara


Wow, I have missed you guys! I have been super busy with family stuff and my crazy, crazy dogs. I’ve also been busy recipe testing some yummy things for y’all. So be on the lookout for those! My birthday was at the end of April and one of my gifts was a plant. Admittedly, the first few days it was inside and I forgot to water it, so now it’s struggling. Oopsies. Now I’m trying to (hopefully) revive it because it’s so beautiful and I’d feel really badly if it died. Last time I had any live plants, besides the ones in my front yard, a dove laid an egg in it. So obviously that plant didn’t survive because I didn’t want to disturb the egg, and therefore didn’t water it.

I’ve also been debating going back to school to become a dietitian. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, but I seem to always come up with a reason not to. But then I keep coming back to it. It just keeps creeping in there in one way or another. I love learning about how different foods interact within the body. I also love learning about the different nutrients in different foods. I also love helping people, and since having to go gluten free because of my husband’s Celiac Disease diagnosis, I know how difficult and overwhelming making a huge dietary change like that can be. So my goal would be to help people who are having (or simply just want to) to make dietary changes for one reason or another I don’t know if a dietetics program will help me with any of those things, but that’s what I’m trying to figure out.

On another (food related) note, I’ve been on an spicy food kick lately. Or more like my entire life. I love Italian food because it is so full of flavor it’s ridiculous. Having an Italian husband ( his dad is actually from northern Italy), as you can imagine, we eat a lot of Italian food. That being the case, and because I LOVE spicy, flavorful foods, I decided I needed a spicy marinara sauce that I can use in my everyday Italian dishes. I also love poblano peppers so I gave that a try in my sauce and guess what? Freakin’ delicious. AND my house smells absolutely amazing when I make this sauce. Seriously, I want to bathe in it.

Print Recipe
Pasta with Spicy Poblano Marinara
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 30-40 Minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 30-40 Minutes
  1. Cook pasta according to package.
  2. Turn oven on broil. Once ready, place the poblano pepper on an oven safe pan (like a cookie sheet) and broil until the skin is blistery and charred. This should only take about 5 minutes. You may have to flip it and broil on the other side if it didn't quite get blistery. Let pepper cool.
  3. While the poblano is cooling, fill a medium sized sauce pan with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, place chopped carrots into the water and boil until softened, about 15 minutes.
  4. When the poblano has cooled, gently peel off charred skin, chop, and place into a large pot along with the olive oil, onion, and garlic. Sauté until the onions are softened and fragrant.
  5. Add softened carrots, tomato sauce, tomato paste and spices to the large pot with the poblano, onions, and garlic. Bring to a slight boil. Once boiling, turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes. When sauce is done, blend with an immersion blender or tranfer to a blender and blend in order to break up the carrots.
  6. Serve hot over pasta.
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