Rachael Ray’s Epic Valentine’s Day Pasta Recipe: ‘You Make Dinner, You’re Dessert’

It’s that special day on which couples either head out for a romantic meal together or opt for a cozy night in. If you’re in the latter category, this silky pasta dish from Rachael Ray may be the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner for your table for two. The Food Network star hasn’t given the recipe the official name of You Won’t Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Pasta for nothing.

Daytime show host Rachael Ray wears a long sleeve black blouse in this photo.
Food Network host Rachael Ray | Getty Images/Getty Images for NYCFWW

Ray on her beloved pasta sauce

Ray talked about her spin on the creamy pasta sauce in a 2020 conversation with Detroit news program Live in the D.

“The very first thing I cooked for Oprah is still super popular,” she said. “You can, of course, load it from our site; I’ve made it several times here, too: vodka cream pasta sauce. It’s a classic, it’s a good one.”

She added that another variation on it that she’s created is “a new version of that, it’s a chipotle cream spaghetti with shrimp and it’s pretty sexy. It’s like spicy but not too spicy, but it’s also sweet because of the cream.”

Her ‘You Won’t Be Single for Long Vodka Cream Pasta’ features a full cup of vodka

Ray’s vodka sauce comes together with pantry items including extra-virgin olive oil, butter, garlic, shallots, chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, pasta, heavy cream, fresh basil, and of course, vodka.

The best-selling author of her most recent book This Must Be the Place explained on her daytime show (video above) the origin of this recipe’s eye-catching name: “The story about this particular recipe starts many, many years ago in upstate New York. I used to teach 30-minute meals on the local news. Well, I taught a very simple penne a la vodka, vodka cream pasta sauce.”

Soon enough, Ray had a following and after making this recipe, she reported receiving quite a few “letters from viewers saying they made it for their boyfriends and they got engaged after they fed them this delicious meal. So, I renamed the recipe You Won’t Be Single for Long Vodka Cream Pasta.”

Rachael Ray’s pasta recipe has over 500 five-star reviews on Food Network’s site

Food Network reviewers also have flooded the network’s site with testimonials of the recipe’s magical qualities on Valentine’s Day through the years.

“This is me and my husband’s all-time favorite meal. The flavor is amazing and the recipe is easy. I make this every year for Valentine’s Day. You MUST try this recipe, it will likely become one- of your favorite pasta dishes! If I could give this recipe 6 stars I would,” one reviewer wrote.

Another happy fan added, “My boyfriend and I made this for our Valentine’s Day dinner and it was delicious. Just as good as going out to a restaurant without the restaraunt price.”

Proving Ray’s point, a reviewer reported, “This dish is a winner! I made it for my boyfriend on our second valentine’s day. … We’ve since been engaged and married and I am bringing the dish back for this valentine’s day…”

As Ray advised in her interview, “I don’t know, you might want to stay in. I tell people all the time, anybody can make a reservation. You make dinner, you’re dessert.”

Get Ray’s complete recipe and reviews on Food Network’s site.

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