I Still Make Gigi Hadid’s Viral Spicy Vodka Sauce Once a Week

I Still Make Gigi Hadid’s Viral Spicy Vodka Sauce Once a Week

Last year during the beginning of quarantine, top supermodel and new mom Gigi Hadid shared an Instagram story dropping her recipe for homemade spicy vodka pasta sauce. I don’t think I’ve ever been that captivated by an IG story in the (almost) ten years that I’ve had the app — when the tomato paste and the heavy cream begin to blend together, it’s as if the stars all aligned just for me. After seeing an explosion of people making it all over the internet (read: Tik Tok), I was happy to see that I wasn’t the only one enraptured by the recipe.

Since that glorious day, I’ve faithfully made Gigi’s vodka sauce recipe once a week, and it’s gotten to the point where my friends just invite themselves over when I tell them I’m picking up heavy cream at the grocery store. I will say that I’ve tweaked the recipe ever-so-slightly since my initial attempt, and this recipe reflects my alterations. You can thank me later.

It’s creamy, actually spicy, and tastes like a delicious, warm hug. It’s also such a simple dish that it feels almost like you’re cheating or something. A parting note: you CAN leave out the vodka, but why make vodka sauce if you’re planning to leave out one of the key ingredients? 

Without further ado, I present to you (my version of) Gigi Hadid’s Viral Spicy Vodka Sauce Pasta


Serves 2

  • ½ lb pasta of choice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 small cloves of garlic or 1 large clove, grated
  • 1 small shallot
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp vodka
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup Pecorino Romano, plus more for serving


Step 1

In a large stock pot, bring heavily salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to the box directions. I prefer a pasta shape with a lot of surface area like rotini, but any pasta will be delightful.

Step 2

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add finely chopped shallot, and cook until soft. Add grated garlic and cook until fragrant, but not browned. 

Step 3

Add tomato paste and cook until it’s darkened in color and smells slightly caramelized.

Step 4

Stir in the vodka and mix until you can no longer smell the alcohol.

Step 5

Slowly add in the heavy cream and chili flakes, and stir until the sauce comes together. Add salt and pepper to taste, and then remove from the heat.

Step 6

Once your pasta is done cooking, reserve at least ¼ cup of the starchy pasta water before draining.

Step 7

Immediately toss the pasta into the sauce, stirring to coat. Add in reserved pasta water by the tablespoon as needed, plus 1 tbsp of butter, and stir until the sauce is glossy, beautiful, and thick.

Step 8

Stir in ¼ cup of Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan cheese)

Step 9

Dish up your masterpiece, top with more cheese and fresh-cracked black pepper, and enjoy!