Recipe: Tomato Vodka Sauce Fussili with Broccoli

Back in the early stages of our relationship, my husband, without fail would always order the “Pasta alla Vodka” whenever we did Italian food on our dates. Cute it was, but it started to get a little boring. I used to corner him and try to convert him into some other rustic Italian fare. However, he wasn’t budgeting; not even more a second on this meal. Many years later…we are talking a good 13 or so, crazily enough, I’m not sure that he has picked up a fork to this dish at all. Could he have forgotten about it OR maybe his healthier side kicked in a bit. However, not tonight ☺ I am going to surprise him with this higher in fiber and lower in fat version. I also had to include some chopped up broccoli; a wives duty!


• 8 ozs whole grain fussili (I tend to find a brand with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving to boost up the fiber content!)
• 1/4 cup light cream (I have tried the fat free version, but the low fat has much more body and there is not a severe caloric difference)
• 1 pint cherry tomatoes
• 2 garlic cloves sliced thinly
• 1 small onion chopped
• 2 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 head slightly steamed broccoli chopped into medium sized pieces (or 3 cups frozen broccoli cuts thawed and cooked according to directions)
• 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for topping
• 1/4 cup of vodka (Please don’t whip out your Grey Goose, the alcohol reduces down when heated, so unlike cooking with wine, the quality is not so important.)
• Pinch of red pepper flakes


1.) Boil water (Don’t forget to salt it once it’s bubbling as it adds flavor to the pasta) Cook pasta according to directions and put aside.


2.) Heat oil in a large sauté pan and add butter over medium heat and add onion. Cook for 6-8 minutes until tender.
3.) Increase heat and add the light cream, garlic, red pepper flakes and vodka. Cook until it reduces.


4.) Add in tomatoes and cook for a minute or two more until tomatoes get slightly wilted.


5.) Remove sauce and let cool slightly. Blend in blender or vitamix until smooth.
6.) Toss with cooked pasta and broccoli until thoroughly coated.
7.) Sprinkle more parmesan cheese on top and enjoy!!

nicole meyer

Foodie, Nicole Meyer (A.K.A. Nic) adores sharing her best dishes with you. Nibble your way through her everyday recipes, seasonal finds and holiday tips. For more, visit