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Creamy one-pot seared shrimp rigatoni pasta features a spicy tomato cream sauce enhanced with garlic, shallots, fresh oregano and sun-dried tomatoes with a little vodka. Served with parmesan cheese for the perfect finishing touch! This one-pot pasta is ready in 30 minutes and makes for a perfect weeknight dinner.

Creamy sun-dried tomato sauce coats the shrimps beautifully. Bursting with fresh ingredients and flavours, this sauce is light enough that it doesn’t over power the shrimp. We add a bit of cream for a touch of richness and a spicy kick with red pepper chili flakes. SOOO comforting and easy to make!


Start by pan-searing the shrimp with a little bit of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Sear both sides until just pink. The shrimps will continue to cook in the sauce when re-introduced at the end. It’s important not to over cook them initially so that they remain juicy and soft. Once just pink, remove from the pan and set aside. The rest of the cooking can take place using the same pan. Add more oil from the tomatoes, or use olive oil to cook the garlic and the shallots.

We like to time our pasta so that’s its ready just when the sauce has finished thickening. In this recipe this happens once the vodka has been introduced and is cooking down and simmering. You always want to start boiling your water at the beginning of your cooking so that its nice and hot and bubbling and ready when you need it. When your ready to cook the pasta, add a generous amount of salt to the pot and toss in your noodles. Remember to salt like the sea! Always reserve some of the cooking water once the noodles are done. This will help build up a nice amount of sauce and can thin it out a bit if its too thick.


Shrimp: un-cooked raw is best or fresh never frozen. This way you can see exactly when their ready as they will start to change colours. Tails or no tails? Both work but the tails will add extra fish stock flavour. The tricky part is that you’ll be left with having to take the tails off covered in sauce..
Pasta: short cut pasta with large opening such as rigatoni is great because the sauce gets wedged inside so you don’t miss out on any of the flavour. You could use what you have really the finished product will be very similar.
Vodka: the recipe doesn’t call for much but it helps cut some of the intense flavours of the tomatoes and shallots. When used in small amounts it will help intensify the aromas of the sauce. It does require at least 10 minutes to cook down and burn off the sharp alcohol taste. Definitely give your sauce a quick taste before adding in the cream to make sure it has cooked down enough. If you prefer not to use alcohol, simply use a bit of broth or pasta water.
Cream: well we didn’t say this was healthy.. only that it was delicious. The cream definitely helps balance out the sharpness of the vodka, and the sun-dried tomatoes. It sorta mellows everything out into this silky, smooth rich sauce. It’s not ideal to skip it but we get it. A similar consistency can be achieved if you just want to add some of the salted pasta water. Do this gradually until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

We hope you enjoy this recipe! If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it on Instagram! We love to see what you come up with. #thecommunalfeast Follow along our social media account on instagram for quick videos on how our recipes come together!

one-pan creamy shrimp pasta alla vodka

Seared shrimp tossed together with sun-dried tomatoes, oregano, shallots, garlic, tomato paste, vodka, and cream for an easy one-pot meal that's ready in 30 minutes.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: pasta
Servings: 4
Author: the communal feast


  • 1 lb raw shrimp thawed
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 shallots finely chopped
  • 1 TBS fresh oregano + more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes + oil for cooking
  • 1 TBS tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper chili flakes add more for spicier
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups rigatoni pasta
  • reserved pasta water
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese + more for serving


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
  • In a large pan, heat 1 TBS of the sun-dried tomato oil. Add shrimp to the pan and cook on both sides until just pink. (about 2 mins) Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
  • To the same pan, add a bit more oil or butter, cook garlic, shallots and oregano until fragrant and begin to change colours. Add the tomato paste and allow to caramelize a few minutes. This will further enhance the tomato flavour and add a nice sweetness. About 3 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes (chopped or whole) stir to combine and add the vodka. Bring to a boil and let that simmer 10 minutes until the alcohol has cooked down. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to get all those brown bits.
  • Once the vodka has been added and is cooking down it’s time to cook the pasta. To the hot water add a generous amount of salt and toss in pasta. Cook al dente. Should be about 7 minutes. Check the noodles at this point to see if their fully cooked. Scoop out a bit of pasta water and reserve that for the sauce.
  • Once the vodka has cooked down (you shouldn’t be able to taste the vodka in the sauce) stir in the cream, season with remaining herbs and spices and salt and pepper. Let that simmer a few minutes until the sauce has slightly thickened. Next add the pasta and parmesan cheese. Stir until well incorporated. Add some pasta water a little at a time to give your sauce more volume and thin out a bit.
  • Finish by re-introducing the shrimps into the pot and finish with more parmesan to serve.

one-pan creamy shrimp pasta alla vodka


January 29, 2021


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