Pasta Alla Gigi Hadid (Spicy Vodka Sauce) Recipe

If you're a fan of supermodel Gigi Hadid, you may have seen a video she shared on social media a few years ago that showed her preparing her viral vodka pasta sauce — or, rather, vodka-less sauce. Although Hadid followed the general recipe, she omitted the eponymous ingredient because she didn't have any vodka on hand. As it turns out, she was also pregnant at the time, so laying off the booze was a good idea. Even though you can't get drunk from eating vodka sauce, you can never be too careful with a baby on the way.

Curious to try it? Recipe developer Catherine Brookes tells us that her version of Hadid's favorite pasta, which does contain vodka, is "not an exact duplicate of the recipe but very closely based on it." Brookes assures us that this dish is not only quick and easy to put together, but also delicious and what she calls "the ultimate creamy, tomato-y, cheesy pasta sauce." If you'd like to make a pasta sauce that more closely resembles the one in Hadid's viral video, you can always leave out the vodka, but Brookes does say that this ingredient "adds an ever-so-slight sharpness that helps to balance the sweetness of the cream and tomatoes."

‌Assemble the ingredients for pasta alla Gigi Hadid (spicy vodka sauce)

To make the sauce in this recipe, you'll need olive oil, an onion, garlic, tomato paste, vodka, cream, crushed red pepper, parmesan, butter, salt, and pepper. You're also going to need some pasta to soak up the sauce, of course. Brookes uses shells here, but she also recommends penne, fusilli, or any similarly short, chunky varieties. "I prefer to make this with short pasta that can hold the sauce a little," she says, but "you can absolutely use any kind." If you want to make this with fettuccine, go right ahead and do it.

Cook the pasta

Depending on what pasta you choose, the cooking directions may vary. Set a timer based on the instructions on the package and cook until al dente. Before draining the pasta, stop — remember to reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water to use its starchy powers later on.

Make the vodka sauce

To make the sauce, sauté the chopped onion in an oiled pan for about 5 minutes until it softens up a bit. Toss in the garlic and fry that for a minute, stirring so it doesn't burn. Next goes in the tomato paste to cook for 2 minutes, followed by the vodka, which also needs about 2 minutes to reduce. When the smell of the alcohol has wafted away, mix in the cream and red pepper, stirring the sauce continuously until it thickens. This should take just a few minutes, so you needn't fear you'll be standing at the stove all evening.

Once the sauce is thick, adjust the consistency by adding the reserved cooking water along with the parmesan cheese. Did you forget to save that pasta water? All is not lost, as you can make a simple DIY substitute using cornstarch and salt. Once the cheese and water are stirred into the sauce, season it to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine the pasta and sauce

Now, tip the pasta into the sauce and add the butter, then toss everything together until the butter melts and the pasta is all sauced up. Divide the shells into bowls, and sprinkle more cheese over the top if that sounds good. If you'd like a bit of greenery, too, Brookes suggests garnishing the dish with chopped basil.

Unfortunately, this pasta dish isn't something that keeps in the refrigerator for too long. In fact, Brookes tells us that it will only last for two days. She also adds, "I would not recommend freezing leftovers here," explaining that "the sauce may separate." You can, however, easily cut the recipe in half if you'd prefer a smaller amount.

Pasta Alla Gigi Hadid (Spicy Vodka Sauce) Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
While Gigi Hadid's viral vodka pasta sauce recipe may not have contained vodka, this one certainly does, and it's the perfect coating for your favorite shells.
Prep Time
Cook Time
pasta shells in tomato sauce
Total time: 20 minutes
  • 8 ounces short, chunky pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
Optional Ingredients
  • Fresh basil, for garnish
  1. Cook the pasta per the package instructions, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking water before draining.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a high-sided frying pan, then sauté the onion for about 5 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the garlic to the onion and stir-fry for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Pour the vodka into the pan and simmer for about 2 more minutes.
  6. Add the cream and red pepper, stirring for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.
  7. Sprinkle in the parmesan cheese and mix in the reserved pasta water.
  8. Taste the sauce for seasoning, adding as much salt and black pepper as desired.
  9. Add the drained pasta and butter to the pan with the sauce, tossing until thoroughly coated.
  10. Top the pasta with additional parmesan and fresh basil, if desired.
Calories per Serving 544
Total Fat 29.9 g
Saturated Fat 15.0 g
Trans Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 66.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 51.4 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Total Sugars 6.2 g
Sodium 423.1 mg
Protein 14.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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