The secret to reheating pasta with vodka sauce, also known as penne alla vodka, lies in the heavy cream and olive oil. Yet, heavy cream is better used when cooking. Heating requires a lighter mix, so milk delivers a better result.
Pasta with vodka sauce is best reheated in a pan. However, you can also reheat in a microwave, oven, double boiler, slow cooker, and even a rice cooker. No matter the method or appliance used, it’s okay to add to the richness of the sauce.
Leftover pasta can come off gooey and mushy when reheated. For the best techniques for serving leftover pasta with vodka sauce, check out our recommended reheating methods.
A pan is quick, allows you control how much heat to expose your pasta, and makes it easy to add ingredients. Whatever method you use to reheat your penne alla vodka, make sure you take it out of the fridge at least two hours before you eat it. this allows all the different t ingredients to gradually come to room temperature.
To reheat pasta with vodka sauce in a pan:
- Pour some milk into a shallow pan with a wide base. Measure out about three tablespoons of milk per portion of pasta. [Tip, while my go-to tools are cast iron pans, for this method I like using a shallow stainless steel pan like Ninja 363000 series ]
- Heat the milk until it’s just about to start bubbling.
- Add the pasta into the simmering milk.
- You may add one or two tablespoons of heavy cream and vodka in equal parts.
- Stir vigorously as the sauce reduces.
- As the sauce re-emulsifies, you may add some cheese.
- Once reheated enough, lightly sprinkle a few drops of olive oil and stir the dish. This helps the pasta separate and look as good as freshly cooked.
- Serve hot before the sauce firms up.
One of the more conventional ways of reheating any pasta that was originally covered in sauce is to place it inside a n oven. The process is:
- Preheat your oven to a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put your pasta with vodka sauce in an oven-proof bowl or a lasagna tray.
- Add some milk and cream to thicken the sauce.
- Cover the top with aluminum foil to retain the moisture. This also helps to avoid burning on top while the inside is still cold.
- Peep through the aluminum lid after ten minutes. If almost ready, spread on some extra cheese then remove from the oven within a minute.
- Open the aluminum cover and toss around the pasta and sauce. You can add a small splash of olive oil to enhance the sauce.
- Serve while hot.
Heating in the microwave is fast and hassle-free.
- Put your pasta with vodka sauce in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Add in a few spoonsful of water and mix it in a bit.
- Put the bowl of paste in the microwave on a low heat setting.
- Check every one minute, stirring a little each time.
- Once the pasta with vodka sauce is ready, serve to be eaten immediately.
4. Double Boiler
Using a double boiler to reheat penne alla vodka is a gentle way to warm the pasta without splitting the sauce. I only recently started using this method and absolutely love it! Follow these steps:
- Fill the double boiler pan with a couple of inches of water and bring to boil.
- Lower the temperature to let the water simmer.
- Add the top part of the double boiler. Ensure there’s some space between the top boiler and simmering the water.
- Add some milk, cream, sauce or vodka to the top bowl and let it heat for a minute.
- Add in the pasta as you stir into the sauce.
- Continue stirring gently until the pasta is evenly warm.
In terms of a unique double boiler you can use for this method, I would suggest the Farberware classic double boiler. It’s very easy to handle and also benefits from fast clean up
5. Slow Cooker
Using a slow cooker can result in a perfectly reheated penne alla vodka, especially if it’s enough for more than two people. The steps for heating are:
- Add three teaspoonfuls of water for every serving of penne alla vodka that you want to reheat.
- It’s best to use liners to line the slow cooker.
- Add the pasta and the pasta sauce into the slow cooker.
- Set the temperature to medium low and the timer for 30 minutes.
- On the twentieth minute, you can add some cheese, milk, and cream. Stir for a minute and close the lid once again.
- When the 30 minutes expire, change the setting to warm until it’s time to serve the food.
6. Rice Cooker
Rice cookers are versatile kitchen appliances and can be used to cook or reheat penne alla vodka. A rice cooker could be especially useful for a one-person meal. You don’t have to fire up the oven. To reheat your pasta with vodka sauce using a rice cooker:
- Drop a few tablespoons of water into the rice cooker.
- Mix in the pasta with vodka sauce and give it a quick mix.
- Close the lid and start warming at moderate temperature.
- In about ten minutes, check whether the pasta and sauce is warming up well. Give it a stir.
- At this point you can add in some milk or cream, stir for one minute then close the lid.
- Keep checking in three-minute intervals and when almost ready you can add some cheese.
- Close for two minutes then remove and serve hot.