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overhead shot of a plate of cherry tomato pasta alla vodka spaghetti

Cherry Tomato Pasta Alla Vodka

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This Cherry Tomato Pasta Alla Vodka is a lighter take on a traditional recipe! It's made totally plant-based with cashew cream and perfect for summer nights. 


  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews + 1 cup hot water, set aside
  • 1 lb dried spaghetti or pasta of choice (penne is traditional)
  • Salt and pepper (used throughout)
  • 4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed (see notes for details)
  • 1 TBS dried oregano
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (depending on how hot you like things)
  • 3 cups of cherry tomatoes, any size
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 2 TBS vegan butter (optional)
  • Fresh basil, cashew parmesan, and or breadcrumbs to serve


  1. Begin by preparing your "cream", adding cashews to a high-powered blender along with 1 cup water. Blend on high until a creamy liquid results, with no nut chunks. Set aside. No need to wash the blender, we'll be using it in a bit.
  2. Boil a medium pot of water and cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve one cup of the cooking water. To a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium low. Add onion, garlic cloves, oregano, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt. Stir and sauté for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add cherry tomatoes and cook until they brown slightly, about 7 minutes. Use the back of a spoon to press down to burst each tomato once soft enough. Add tomato paste, mashing around the pan with the back of your spoon again to slightly "cook" it for a few minutes. Remove from heat. Leave the pan out as we'll be using it again.
  4. Add tomato mixture to the blender. Pour in cashew cream and blend until very smooth. If your mixture is very thick, feel free to add up to 1 cup of reserved pasta water to thin things to a saucy texture.
  5. Pour tomato and cream mixture back into the sauce pan. Heat over medium low and add vodka. Stir to combine and cook for a few minutes - the alcohol will cook off but the vodka flavor will help contrast the cream. Add in a few pats of vegan butter for some extra richness.
  6. Pour sauce over pasta and serve immediately, garnishing with basil, cashew parmesan, and/or toasted breadcrumbs. Store in a covered container the fridge for up to 5 days.


Instead of mincing garlic, feel free to lay the top of your knife on top of the clove (perpendicular to the clove) and carefully hit your hand on top, to crush the garlic beneath. This will release some garlic flavor as the sauce cooks and will be blended fully later on in the recipe.

To reheat this pasta, add a splash of water before microwaving. It will dry out a bit when stored in the fridge.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: One eighth of recipe
  • Calories: 344.4 calories
  • Sugar: 3.6 grams
  • Sodium: 193.5 milligrams
  • Fat: 11.7 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 1.8 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9.9 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 44.3 grams
  • Fiber: 4.4 grams
  • Protein: 8.9 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams