Try This Healthy "No-Cream" Vodka Penne Recipe

by Nancy Offerman
1 Week ago 2 weeks ago
  • Total Time: 25 Mins
  • Cook: 15 Mins
  • Prep: 10 Mins
  • Serves: 4
  • Level: Beginner

Chef Rocco DiSpirito—from Z Living's show Now Eat This!is back with another healthy Italian favorite—Penne alla Vodka. The no-cream take on this beloved healthy pasta recipe promises you deep flavor without all of the unnecessary calories that come with other pasta dishes. 

Check out more about 'Now Eat This!' and find out where to watch the show.

Rocco says it best: "The dirty little secret about Penne alla Vodka is not the vodka, but the hefty amount of heavy cream. Vodka is colorless, odorless, and without much flavor—not really attributes of a superstar ingredient. It's the combination of cream and tomato sauce that gives this dish its signature flavor. The traditional cream is swapped here for low-fat Greek yogurt."

Time to dig in and finally enjoy a healthy penne alla vodka recipe for yourself, and your loved ones. 


  • 8 ounces whole-wheat penne
  • 2 cups Rocco's How Low Can You Go Low-Fat Marinara Sauce, or store-bought low-fat marinara sauce
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • A single 7-ounce container 2% Greek yogurt
  • A single cup chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions, about 9 minutes; drain.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, bring the marinara sauce and crushed red pepper to a simmer in a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Cook the sauce, stirring it occasionally with a heat-resistant rubber spatula, until it is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the saute pan from the heat.
  3. Stir about 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce into the yogurt until smooth (this tempers it and prevents the yogurt from curdling). Then whisk the yogurt mixture back into the marinara sauce.
  4. In a large serving bowl, toss the sauce with the drained penne and the basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the cheese on top, and serve.

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