Rich and creamy with a spike of vodka, this easy Gigi Hadid pasta recipe went viral for a reason.
If you like spicy pasta, you have to give it a try.
(And then go try my creamy Cajun chicken pasta! It’s to die for)
Complete with al dente pasta shells, salty Parmesan, fragrant basil, and a heavenly sauce, this Gigi Hadid pasta recipe will blow you away.
It’s Hadid’s spin on the classic penne alla vodka, and it’s pretty much to die for.
Ready in just 30 minutes, it’s ideal for busy weeknights. But it’s so scrumptious, you’ll want to serve it at every dinner party from now on.
Gigi Hadid’s Spicy Vodka Pasta
In case the news hasn’t reached you yet, Gigi Hadid posted this pasta recipe on her Instagram stories back in 2020.
It’s since gone mega-viral and continues to trend to this day.
Of course, going viral doesn’t mean it’s good.
I’ve tried many TikTok recipes in the last couple of years and have been disappointed more than once. (I’m looking at you, Balsamic Soda.)
But as a certified foodie, I knew I had to try this dish at some point. And I’m so glad I did!
Gigi, if you’re reading this (a girl can dream, right?), I must say I am beyond impressed.
This dish has the perfect balance of flavors. It’s creamy yet not too rich.
The olive oil and cream complement the acidity of the tomatoes, and the vodka truly transforms it to the next level.
While I also included an alcohol-free version of the recipe below, vodka is necessary, in my opinion.
It ensures the sauce is perfectly silky smooth, and heavenly.
What Is the Gigi Hadid Pasta?
The Gigi Hadid pasta is a spicy twist on penne alla vodka. The sauce mixes tomato paste caramelized in olive oil with heavy cream, butter, and vodka.
Red pepper flakes amp up the heat and add a bright pop of color, and the dish is garnished with fresh basil leaves and fresh Parmesan cheese.
While Gigi Hadid definitely popularized the dish, it’s been around for ages. That means there shouldn’t be any doubt in your mind that it’s delicious.
Ingredients for Gigi Hadid Pasta
The thing I love about the Gigi Hadid pasta (or any pasta dish, for that matter) is that you’re free to customize it to your liking.
Just use the recipe, ingredients, and measurements as a guiding hand. Ultimately, you get to make variations as you please.
But if you want to eat like a supermodel, here’s the recipe:
- Pasta – Gigi uses shell pasta, but any shape works. I prefer tubular pasta like rigatoni, penne, and ziti because they get filled up with sauce. But you do you.
- Olive Oil – for a robust and nuanced flavor.
- Onion and Garlic – the aromatics. You’ll sauté them in the olive oil to bring out their aroma and flavor. Use either a red onion or shallots if possible.
- Tomato Paste – tomato paste has a more concentrated flavor than tomato sauce, so be sure to get the right stuff.
- Heavy Cream – the creamy aspect of the sauce.
- Butter – for an extra dose of richness.
- Salt and Pepper – to taste.
- Red Pepper Flakes – for a spicy kick. This is optional, but it really won’t make the dish wildly spicy, if that’s your concern.
- Vodka – the key ingredient that transforms an ordinary tomato-cream sauce into a show-stopping, restaurant-quality dish.
- Parmesan – I mean, do we even call it pasta if it’s not sprinkled with Parmesan?
- Basil – while it’s served as a garnish, the basil truly elevates the dish to a whole new level. I like using fresh basil leaves, but in a pinch, dried basil is okay, too.
- Pasta Water – the starch in the water will help thicken the sauce.
How To Make Gigi Hadid’s Spicy Vodka Pasta Recipe
As mentioned, this is a super simple recipe. It’s ready in just 30 minutes and is a winner every time.
That said, there’s a bit more to it than just opening a jar of sauce. Here are the highlights:
1. Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, and remember to reserve some pasta water for the sauce.
2. Chop and sauté the aromatics. While the pasta cooks, mince the onion and garlic.
Then, preheat the olive oil in a saucepan and cook the onion and garlic for about 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Add the sauce ingredients. Be sure to add these in order. Start with the tomato paste. Add it to the skillet and give it a good stir.
Don’t worry if it starts to curdle – that’s what’s supposed to happen. It’ll smooth out once you add the rest of the ingredients.
4. Toss the pasta in the sauce. In the same pot in which you cooked the pasta, toss the cooked pasta shells with the cooked sauce.
Mix in the reserved pasta water, bit by bit, until the sauce is nice and thick.
5. Serve and enjoy! Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan and basil leaves. Serve and enjoy!
How to Make Gigi Hadid Pasta Without Vodka
If you’re not a fan of vodka-infused sauces, that’s fine. You can still give Gigi Hadid’s recipe a try.
All you’ll need is to replace the booze with a non-alcoholic liquid. Here are some of my suggestions:
- Apple Cider Vinegar – It’s acidic with an almost alcoholic flavor, making it a fantastic alternative to vodka.
- Lemon Juice – A splash of freshly squeezed lemon will add a pop of brightness to the dish. Its acidity balances out the richness of the cream, too.
- Pasta Water – It’s flavorless, sure, but the sauce is already pretty tasty, even without the booze.
How to Make Gigi Hadid’s Pasta Healthy
Like most pasta recipes, Gigi Hadid’s pasta recipe isn’t super healthy. It isn’t meant to be. Instead, it’s supposed to be decadent and totally indulgent.
Still, there are a few things you can do to help make it a bit more nutritious:
- Cut down on the amount of olive oil you use.
- Use whole wheat pasta.
- Use half and half or a plant-based cooking cream instead of heavy cream.
- Leave out the butter.
- Use one of the vodka alternatives listed above.
- Don’t overdo it on the salt.
- Cut back on the amount of pasta and replace it with veggies.
Tips and Tricks
- Use whatever pasta you prefer. Just keep in mind that certain pastas may change the flavor or mouthfeel a little. For example, if you use skinny angel hair pasta, you’ll have a lot of sauce left over. Whole wheat pasta will also taste different from “regular” pasta.
- Reserve some pasta water. Save at least one cup. You’ll need it in case the sauce is dry. You most likely won’t have to add the entire cup, but have it handy anyway.
- Adjust the spices to suit your tastes. The recipe measurements are just a guide, so add more or less according to your preference. Same with the garlic. The recipe says add four cloves, but feel free to add more!
- Grate your own cheese. I know it’s a bit of a hassle, but freshly grated Parmesan tastes far superior to those bags of pre-shredded cheese offered in groceries.
- Make it a full meal. Simply add some chicken! Whether it’s roasted chicken breast, air fryer chicken legs, or rotisserie, you can’t go wrong.
- Make it vegan. Just swap out the heavy cream with coconut milk and use vegan butter and nutritional yeast.
How to Store & Reheat Gigi Hadid’s Pasta
Store leftover pasta in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 to 5 days.
You can either use the microwave or a skillet on the stovetop:
- Add the pasta to a microwave-safe dish, cover, and heat on low for a few minutes. Mix in some olive oil or milk if the pasta looks dry.
- Add the pasta to a skillet with some milk and heat on low until hot.
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