Crawfish Pasta Alla Vodka is a Cajun twist on a classic Italian dish. This Italian-Creole fusion recipe fuses rich flavors of creamy vodka and tomato sauce with a zesty kick of Louisiana-style spicy crawfish making it an ultra flavorful and satisfying meal. With this delectable meal on your dinner table, you’ll be in for a truly unique and unforgettable experience. It’s a favorite in the South.
Crawfish Pasta Alla Vodka
The standout feature of this recipe is its dynamic flavor. It’s the perfect balance of creamy, savory and spicy elements to create a unique and harmonious dish. With a few simple ingredients, you can quickly whip up a delicious meal that is sure to tantalize and impress.
I started making alla vodka sauce after watching Halfbakedharvest make it on IG. From the beginning I knew it would pair beautifully with crawfish. It does. It is truly memorable dish and instant family favorite.
For me, it’s the sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan at the end. Parmesan brings all the flavors together. Your family and friends will love this rich, creamy and savory meal.
Why add vodka?
Vodka brightens this creamy sauce. As well, adding low concentrations of alcohol to food has been tested and determined to ‘enhance flavor aromas’. If you just do not do alcohol, no worries. Simply substitute chicken broth or vegetable broth and you’ll still have a stellar tomato sauce!
When is crawfish season?
A quick internet search will tell you that crawfish season is anywhere from late November to early July. The general rule where I live (North Mississippi) is crawfish season is any spring month with a ‘r’ in it or February to April. At least that’s what we go by and when fresh crawfish are available here.
Ingredients for Crawfish Pasta Alla Vodka
The full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions is at the bottom of this post. You can save a tree and save the recipe to your personal and private recipe box right here on Call Me PMc. This way you’ll never misplace it.
- Crawfish, fresh or frozen cooked. You can also use shrimp.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Shallot, finely chopped or mild onion. See note below.
- Garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Dried oregano
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Tomato paste
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Heavy cream. You can substitute coconut milk, canned.
- Penne, ziti, rigatoni or other short cut pasta
- salted butter
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- Fresh basil or green onion for garnish, roughly chopped
Shallots or milder and ever so slightly sweet with a hint of garlic. Because of their delicate taste and smell, shallots are a good choice when adding them raw to a recipe. Onions are stronger in flavor and smell and are often spicy.
They do have different flavors, but can be substituted in a one to one ratio in recipes. The only instance I can think where you wouldn’t want to substitute onions for shallots would be in a very delicately flavored recipe.
Yes. You can prepare the sauce three days ahead of time and refrigerate it.
As long as your pasta is al dente and over over-cooked it will freeze well. Overcooked or mushy pasta really falls apart upon reheating. Freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 60 days.
Crawfish Pasta Alla Vodka
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- 1.5 to 2 pound crawfish cooked and peeled, fresh or frozen
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium shallot finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 – 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ cup tomato paste
- ¼ cup vodka or chicken or vegetable broth
- ⅛ teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 pound short cut pasta
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- ⅓ cup, plus more for serving Parmesan cheese grated
- 2 tablespoons green onions sliced
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to al dente. When cooked remove and reserve 1 and ½ cup of pasta water. Drain pasta.
- Turn to low and add the tomato paste and red pepper flakes. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until it's slightly thickened.
- Add the vodka and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the cream, salt, and pepper.
- Add the pasta and crawfish to the sauce along with ½ cup reserved pasta water and butter. Stir until the butter melts. Add more pasta water if it's too thick.
- Finish with Parmesan and green onions. Serve and enjoy.