Learn how to make the original Gigi Hadid Pasta, or spicy vodka pasta, with this copycat recipe. A quick and easy tomato-based sauce with crushed red pepper and cream. My family loves eating this weeknight meal!
Make an elegant meal for two for a special dinner date or Valentine's dinner. This recipe is made without Vodka making it a delicious family friendly meal. This copycat recipe became popular on Tiktok and Instagram and we had to recreate it!
Be sure to check out our other tasty pasta dishes like our Five Cheese Marinara, Manicotti, Rattle Snake Pasta, and our Cajun Shrimp Pasta. Try a creamy pesto sauce with this delicious and easy recipe. Or indulge in this Baked Ravioli Lasagna.
Follow this list of ingredients to make this pasta recipe. Be sure to check out any tips we've learned for best results.
- Olive Oil- This fragrant oil is best for this dish to help bring out the flavors of the vegetables.
- Onion- Use finely chopped white onion. You can also use Shallots or purple onions for added flavor.
- Minced Garlic- Minced garlic adds a great taste to this meal. If you don't have that on hand you can also use garlic powder. 1 clove of garlic is equal to ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Vodka (Not Pictured and OPTIONAL)-This is an optional ingredient. If added, most of the alcohol will burn off after three minutes of simmering. Added vodka can enhance the flavor of the tomatoes but we found that it isn't necessary for a great tasting dish.
- Tomato Paste- Make sure to use tomato paste instead of tomato sauce!
- Heavy Cream- Heavy cream gives this a delicious and creamy taste. You can also use half and half or even milk substitutes depending on your dietary needs.
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Parmesan Cheese
- Shell Pasta- This is from the original recipe. The shells help hold a large amount of sauce and flavor. Feel free to use your favorite noodles like Rigatoni, Penne, Farfalle (Bow Tie), Rotini, or Ziti.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Spicy Vodka Pasta
These step-by-step process photos will help you make a delicious meal. Refer to the photographs when necessary for additional help.
- In a medium sauce pan cook shell pasta noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside reserving some pasta water.
2. In a saute pan heat olive oil. Add diced onion and cook until slightly translucent. Add the minced garlic and stir until fragrant. Then add the tomato paste to the cooked garlic and onions and mix until combined.
3.Next add the heavy cream and crushed red pepper to the tomato paste and stir until a sauce begins to form. Pour in the parmesan cheese. The consistency will be a little thick and cheesy. Add in pasta water to help thin the sauce to the consistency you prefer.
4. Add the drained shell pasta to the sauce. Mix until the noodles are completely covered in sauce. Serve with extra parmesan and crushed red pepper if desired.
Hint: Don't forget to reserve excess pasta water. You will want to add ¼ cup to about ½ cup to thin the sauce to desired texture.
Substitutions and Variations
- Half and Half - Looking for this recipe without heavy cream? Substitute for half and half at a 1:1 ratio for the same great taste.
- Ground Beef-While this meal is vegetarian, add one cup of cooked ground beef for extra protein and flavor.
- Shrimp-Make this a seafood sensation by adding in 1 cup of cooked shrimp mixed into with the pasta and sauce.
- Lemon Juice- Want to skip the vodka but add in extra flavor? Add in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for some added zest instead of vodka.
- With Chicken- Add sliced grilled chicken to the top of the each bowl of served pasta.
- Dairy Free - Looking for a dairy free option? Instead of using creams or cows milk use Almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, or soy milk at a 1:1 ratio. These milks tend to be thinner so the sauce may be runnier. Simmer for 3-5 minutes to help with the consistency. This will also help make this meal a vegan option.
Learn From Us
This sauce comes together quickly, make sure to have all the ingredients ready to be added when you start the cooking process. While I was recipe testing, I wasn't prepared with how quickly the sauce was made. It became to thick to mix the noodles in before they were done! Luckily I had reserved pasta water to thin it out and it still tasted great.
Storing Spicy Vodka Pasta
Store Gigi Hadid Pasta (Spicy Vodka Pasta) in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To serve again, reheat the portion you are going to eat in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute and then in 30 second intervals until it's the desired temperature.
Though in the name, this dish does not need added vodka to be a delicious meal. It taste amazing without vodka. If you add Vodka, most of the alcohol will burn off after simmering the sauce for 3 minutes.
We made sure to double the portions from the original Gigi Hadid pasta to serve 4 people instead of 2. It can be easily doubled to serve 6 or 8 people
Gigi Hadid Pasta
- medium sauce pan
- medium saute pan
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- ½ cup white onion diced
- 4 cloves minced garlic about 2 teaspoons
- 2 tablespoons Vodka* OPTIONAL
- 6 ounces Tomato Paste 1 can
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- ½ cup pasta water reserve you will need ¼-1/2 cups
- 2 cups Shell Pasta
- ¼ teaspoon table salt more or less as desired
- Cook the shell pasta noodles according to package directions. Once cooked reserve ½ cup of pasta water and then drain and set aside.2 cups Shell Pasta
- On medium heat in a medium saute pan heat olive oil. Add the diced onion and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and stir and cook until fragrant. About 1-2 minutes.2 tablespoon Olive Oil, ½ cup white onion, 4 cloves minced garlic
- Add the tomato paste (one can) to the sautéed onions and garlic. Mix until well combined and continue to stir for 2 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream and crushed red pepper and stir until a sauce is formed.6 ounces Tomato Paste, 1 cup Heavy Cream, 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- At this time, if you are using vodka add the 2 tablespoons of vodka and simmer for 3 minutes while stirring. Use lemon juice as a substitute if you wanted.2 tablespoons Vodka*
- Next, add in the parmesan cheese and salt and stir, the sauce will thicken and get cheesy. Add pasta water to thin the sauce if needed.½ cup grated parmesan, ½ cup pasta water reserve, ¼ teaspoon table salt
- Last, add the cooked shell pasta to the sauce and stir until completely coated. Serve topped with more parmesan cheese and fresh basil if desired. See notes for additional information.
- If you still want to have that similar vodka taste but don't want to use vodka add 2 tablespoons of Lemon Juice.
- This recipe can EASILY be made without Vodka and tastes delicious. This is how we make it! If you do use vodka, it enhances the flavor of the tomatoes and the alcohol will burn off after 3 minutes for the amount the recipe calls for.
- Make with half and half instead.
- Add grilled chicken, shrimp, bacon, ground beef, or Italian sausage to this meatless meal.
- Don't have cream or half and half? Use milk you have in the fridge at a 1:1 ratio. The sauce will not be as thick and you may not need to add to pasta water to thin the sauce.
- Instead of tomato paste, use tomato sauce at a 1:1 ratio. Tomato sauce is much thinner than tomato paste. You will need to simmer for 3-5 minutes and the sauce won't be as thick as the original recipe.
- Make this a gluten free dish by using your favorite gluten free pasta.
- If you don't like things spicy, be sure to leave out the crushed red pepper, or add half the amount for a more subtle heat.
- Not an onion fan, make this without onion step to eliminate that onion flavor. The flavor of the dish will be altered.