Vodka Herb Cream Sauce with Chicken & Pasta

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Serves: 6

This vodka herb cream sauce is simple enough for a beginner to prepare and is sure to impress your diners. Smaller amounts of oil combined with sour cream and fresh herbs help to create a lower fat version of this trendy restaurant sauce.


1 lb (0.5 kg) brown rice linguine, dry
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 lb (0.5 kg) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) black pepper, freshly ground
1 cup (250 mL) onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup (60 mL) vodka
1/2 cup (125 mL) low-sodium chicken broth
28 fl oz (830 mL) canned diced tomatoes, with juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) rosemary, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) thyme, fresh
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) hot red chili pepper flakes, (optional)
3 tbsp (45 mL) sour cream, 14 % MF
1/4 cup (60 mL) basil, fresh, minced
1 tbsp (15 mL) oregano, fresh, minced
1 cup (250 mL) Romano cheese, shredded
6 leaves basil, fresh, optional garnish


1 Put the water on to boil for the pasta while you prepare the sauce. Cook pasta in unsalted water according to package directions. Try to time your pasta to be finished cooking when the sauce is finished.
2 Cut chicken into bite-size pieces about 1 inch (2.5 cm) square. Heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil over medium heat in a pot at least 6 inches (15 cm) deep that has a lid. Sauté chicken until lightly brown. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Remove chicken and juices from pan and cover to keep warm.
3 Dice onion and mince garlic. Heat another tablespoon of oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic to pan and sauté 4 minutes or until softened.
4 Pour in vodka and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Continue boiling until liquid is reduced to half its original volume.
5 Stir in canned tomatoes with their juice, minced rosemary, thyme leaves and red hot chili pepper flakes (optional). Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Puree sauce until smooth using a hand immersion blender.
6 Stir in sour cream. Cook 2 minutes over medium-low heat, while stirring.
7 Stir in cooked chicken with juices, fresh minced basil and oregano.
8 Drain pasta and toss with the sauce in a large bowl. Serve immediately sprinkled with shredded Romano cheese. Garnish plates with fresh basil leaves (optional garnish).