Shrimp Linguini with Vodka Cream Sauce

All, Italian, Pasta, Seafood

For shrimp linguini with vodka cream sauce, it is not necessary to use linguini noodles. It’s OK if you use spaghetti, penne, or fettuccini noodles. Actually, this shrimp recipe would also be delicious served over white rice. See, don’t get hung up over details. Just cook and have fun!

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s easiest if you can buy fresh or frozen shrimp peeled and with the tails on. I’ve also seen “easy peel” shrimp that has already been deveined. Otherwise, you will need to peel and devein the shrimp first.

For this recipe, you don’t need the tail on as a handle, the way you do for fried shrimp. Just hold the shrimp, give the tail a gentle tug, and the tail will come off, leaving a little extra bite of meat that was inside the tail.


2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 pound shrimp, fresh or frozen, thawed, peeled, deveined, tail off (35-40 shrimp)
pasta for four (linguini, spaghetti, penne, fettuccini, or other)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup vodka
1 cup chicken stock
1 eight ounce can tomato sauce
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons dried parsley, or 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
grated Parmesan cheese, fresh, if possible


To cook the shrimp, bring some water to a boil, add the Old Bay Seasoning, and cook the shrimp until they turn pink. This will only take a few minutes, so don’t go running errands or talk on the phone. When they are pink, take the pot off the heat, drain off the water, and let them sit in the pot to keep warm. Some of the seasoning will cling to the shrimp, and that’s fine.

In a larger pot, heat water for the pasta, add salt and a little olive oil to the water, and cook the pasta according to the package directions. This should take about 20 minutes, so during this time you can get the stuff ready for the sauce. Test the pasta by eating a strand now and then, and when done, drain out the water. Stir the pasta, and if sticky, drizzle a little olive oil over it.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a skillet, and add the onion. Sauté for five minutes or so until the onion is soft, and add the garlic. After another minute or two, sprinkle the flour over the skillet contents and cook the flour for a few minutes.

Add the vodka to the skillet, scraping up any browned bits that might be clinging to the skillet. Add the chicken stock, parsley, and tomato sauce, and bring to a simmer. After five minutes, add the cream, taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to your taste.

Add a cup of the sauce to the pasta and stir it in. Put the pasta on the plate, cover with shrimp, add the sauce, and garnish with Parmesan cheese. Have some good Italian (or California) wine and some crusty bread. You’ll think you’re in Genoa!

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