Grossy’s Vegan Vodka Sawce

Grossy’s Vodka Sawce has made its way around the internet several times since March 2020 when I first posted the recipe on my instagram. It’s success has truly blown my mind and I am so honored that a single person has made it, much less thousands of people. I will never get over it!

Two common themes have emerged as people have made the Sawce again and again:

1. It fits every diet. It can be made dairy-free and gluten-free and doesn’t suffer any losses. It remains delicious! That makes me extra proud.

2. The Sawce is perfectly paired with The Sporkful’s Cascatelli Pasta. I the pairing over and over, and it’s something that Dan Pashman from The Sporkful and I have taken note of and love very much.

When The Sporkful chose Banza as their official gluten-free pasta brand for Cascatelli, they came to me to ask if they could put my Vegan Vodka Sawce recipe on the back of the box!!! It took me approximately zero seconds to say “YES!”. Now here we are, celebrating all of the above in a recipe that I absolutely LOVE.

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Grossy's Vegan Vodka Sawce

Grossy’s Vegan Vodka Sawce

  • Author: Dan Pelosi

What You’ll Need

  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter*
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 16 oz. (2 cups) cashew or coconut cream or coconut milk
  • 6 tablespoons vodka**
  • 2 boxes Banza Cascatelli (1 lb)***
  • grated vegan parmesan cheese, for serving

*if you do not have vegan butter, sub with 2 more tablespoons of olive oil

**If you want to make vodka sawce without vodka, I do not recommend using a substitute for vodka. This recipe, made without vodka (skip the vodka step in the recipe), makes a delish tomato cream sauce.

***If you are using gluten-free pasta that is not made from chickpeas, add 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch to the 1 cups of pasta water you reserve. This will give you pasta water the starch it needs to make your sawce thick and glossy.

What You’ll Do

  1. Over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of vegan butter, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional) and 8 tablespoons olive oil together in a saucepan. Add grated garlic and 6 tablespoons tomato paste. Whisk until fragrant.
  2. At the same time, boil Banza pasta in salty water, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Whisk 2 cups coconut or cashew cream into sauce for 5-6 minutes, until it darkens. Add 6 tablespoons of vodka and whisk for another 5-6 minutes, until alcohol is cooked out. You will be able to smell the difference in the sauce.
  4. Drain pasta and rinse, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Add ½ cup of your pasta water to the sawce and whisk until inappropriately thick. Sauce may take up to 20 minutes to get thick enough, and it is absolutely worth the wait.
  5. Add pasta to sauce and stir until coated and glossy.
  6. Serve with grated vegan parmesan or pecorino and enjoy!


-If you want to add vegetables to your pasta, I recommend cooking vegetables separately and serving it alongside or on top of the pasta. Do not cook the vegetables in the sauce.

-Vodka sawce is not the easiest to reheat, so, two things:

Save that other ½ cup pasta water for leftover reheating. When the time comes, put your leftover sauced pasta in a pan, add a little pasta water and bring it back to life over heat. The pasta water will bring it all back together because it will separate!

If you are planning to eat less than a full pound of pasta and sauce (IDK who you are but okay), halve the recipe or make the full sawce recipe, put half of the sawce in a container, and only cook a ½ lb of pasta. When you’re ready for your next meal, reheat the leftover sauce in a pan with a little pasta water and add freshly cooked pasta for your second meal.