As with many Italian American dishes, the specifics of the best vodka sauce recipe depend on who you ask. Some cooks use onions for flavor and texture, others say that defeats the purpose of a silky-smooth sauce. Traditionalists may find the very idea of a red sauce with vodka blasphemous, while adherents believe that vodka sauce is a rightful part of Italian American culinary heritage.
Whether you choose to engage in this debate, or simply want an easy dish to get on the table in 30 minutes or less, this vodka sauce recipe is thoroughly customizable. It doesn’t require pasta water, so feel free to have it on flatbread, with vegetables or make it well in advance of serving. (Sealed vodka sauce will last 3–4 months in the freezer.)
Love garlic? Add another clove to the mix. Hate onions? Skip them. Even the namesake liquor can be omitted if a booze-free version is better suited to your kitchen.