Ever feel like whipping up a batch of penne vodka, but don’t want to make a whole pot? This is a single serving version of my popular brown butter penne vodka recipe! This creamy Brown Butter Penne Vodka is a rich, creamy sauce that starts with nutty brown butter and tastes just as good with vodka, as it does without it.
Can I leave out the Vodka?
You can definitely make this delicious pasta without the vodka! All you have to do is substitute the vodka with additional pasta water so you can still achieve a similar consistency.
Why Brown Butter?
Brown butter has a nuttier flavor than regular butter. It will deepen the flavor and make your dish taste richer. It is simple to make at home and will make your recipe much more flavorful. Totally worth the extra effort! You will never go back to using regular butter in your pasta. You will be addicted to the rich, caramelized sauce!
How to Make Brown Butter
Although this may sound like a fancy and intricate process, it’s actually quite simple. It’s all about timing. You have to find the sweet spot where the butter is not raw but also not burned. The golden brown deliciousness can be a little tricky to achieve but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be golden!
- Add the butter to a saucepan or skillet with a thick bottom so it doesn’t burn.
- Whisk or stir continuously over medium heat until the butter melts.
- Continue stirring as the butter foams and bubbles. Ensure that the butter is browning but not burning.
- Once the butter has a deep golden hue and the butter solids are browing, turn off the heat.
- Transfer the butter to a bowl to cool down so it doesn’t continue browning in the hot pan!
- Use right away or refrigerate for later use!
This creamy single serving brown butter penne vodka is a rich, creamy sauce that starts with nutty brown butter and tastes just as good with vodka, as it does without it.
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/4 shallot or small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2–1 tsp red chili flakes, to taste
- 4 tsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp vodka, optional
- 1/4 cup half and half
- Large pinch of Salt
- 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 2 oz pasta, any shape
- In a pot, bring water to boil. Once it’s boiling, add your pasta for 7-8 minutes. Once it’s cooked, drain and save the pasta water! Move onto the next step as the water is coming to a boil.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter on low heat until completely melted and then increase to medium heat. Stir until brown bits start to appear and the color of the butter turns golden.
- Add in the shallots/onion, garlic and red chili flakes. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the onion gets soft. Then, add the tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes until the tomato paste darkens to a dark red-brown color. Add the vodka if you want to use it and cook for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add the half & half and stir well to combine. Cook for 1 minute.
- Taste & add salt and extra red chili flakes to taste. Stir in the grated cheese and add 1 tbsp of the saved pasta from before to make the sauce smooth. Add in the cooked pasta, stir to combine and serve!