This spicy twist on the viral vodka pasta recipe is a must-try

Welcome to In The Know Cooking: Kitchen Etc, where content creator and chef, Tway Nguyen (@twaydabae), puts viral TikTok recipes to the test. In this episode, Tway teaches us how to make vodka pasta with some tasty additions tossed in, including a homemade chili oil to turn up the heat and kick the viral dish up a notch. 

Alex Hughes, Executive Producer Jordan Walker, Executive Producer Alexandra Katsoulis, Senior Producer Isabel Ashton, Producer


  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • ½ cup heavy cream 
  • ½ cup tomato pasta
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • Olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp vodka
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2-3 dried chilies
  • 3 tbsp chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 oz fried shallots
  • Neutral oil (Tway uses vegetable oil) 
  • Fresh basil 


  1. Make the chili oil. Start by finely mincing garlic cloves, then set the minced garlic aside. Add sesame seeds, star anise, dried chilies to pan and lightly toast for 3-4 minutes. 
  1. As your aromatics are toasting, combine chili flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, minced garlic, fried shallots and soy sauce in a bowl. Add toasted aromatics and combine. 
  1. Heat up vegetable oil or your preferred neutral oil, and combine in a bowl with the mixed spices. 
  1. Cook the penne pasta.
  1. Chop onion and garlic and fry in a pan with olive oil for 2-4 minutes. Drain the pasta, and once the onions and garlic are cooked, add tomato paste, and stir until the paste is brick red. 
  1. Deglaze the pan with a splash of vodka, then add in heavy cream and continue to stir until all ingredients are smoothly combined. 
  1. Add pasta into sauce and top with 1-2 scoops of homemade chili oil. Toss to coat. 
  1. Plate the pasta. Top with a little more chili oil, ground pepper, and fresh basil. Enjoy! 

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