Rao’s Made for Home Penne Alla Vodka Review

Rao's Made for Home Penne Alla Vodka

Several years ago (before we changed our comments system, which unfortunately purged all of the old comments), we had a commentor who asked us to check out the Rao’s brand of frozen food. We responded that we’d keep our eyes out for it, but we weren’t sure where to find it in our area. Despite our best efforts, we couldn’t find any of their frozen food locally, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t looking.

So commentor, if you’re still reading Freezer Meal Frenzy all these years later, know that we haven’t forgotten you. And to prove it, we’re finally checking out some Rao’s frozen food today. That’s right, we were finally able to find the Rao’s Made for Home Penne Alla Vodka at our local Whole Foods. And that means we can fulfill this long-outstanding promise.

The box shows cooking instructions for both a microwave or a conventional oven. We have a feeling that most people probably use the microwave for this, so that’s the method we’re using for this batch of pasta. Besides, we’re feeling a little impatient today. (To read the full cooking instructions for both methods, check out the package scans at the bottom of this review.)

Rao's Made for Home Penne Alla Vodka

As you can see in the image above, this comes out looking a little bit weird, with all these strange crater marks in it. This is definitely not a dealbreaker — one of our favorite frozen meals of all time has this same effect — and it starts to look pretty normal if you just give it a quick stir. Don’t let the appearance throw you off.

We tend to really like vodka sauce here at Freezer Meal Frenzy. When we were younger, we used to love getting sauced off vodka, but that’s something we don’t do much of anymore. We do still enjoy vodka sauce in our pasta, even if we’re not getting wild and crazy (the alcohol, we should point out, mostly evaporates while this cooks, so you won’t be getting tipsy off this or anything).

And you know what? This is a pretty great-tasting vodka sauce. It starts off with a tomato-paste flavor, which slowly starts to reveal its bitter undertones as you chew the pasta. In fact, this is easily the best vodka sauce we’ve had in a frozen meal in the entire time we’ve been reviewing frozen food. This is exactly what we want from a vodka sauce.

The pasta is a penne, obviously, and it’s maybe just a tad too chewy in some places, but it’s possible we just didn’t stir this well enough when we took it out of the microwave halfway through the cook time. Even if this isn’t our fault, though, it’s hardly even a thing, and we really only noticed it because we’re being extremely nitpicky today.

This meal contains 430 calories, which is admittedly a little bit higher than we’d like. On the other hand, this only has 580 mg of sodium. That’s still a pretty hefty chunk of sodium, by the way, but it’s lower than the average frozen meal, so we really can’t complain about that.

Look folks, we’ve been publishing frozen food reviews for more than six years at this point, and the Rao’s Made for Home Penne Alla Vodka is the best vodka-based pasta dish we’ve tried in that entire time. This just hits all the right notes for us, and we don’t think we’ll be able to top this without making something from scratch or going to a high-end Italian restaurant.

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for this frozen pasta, check out our package scans below.

Rao's Made for Home Penne Alla Vodka
Rao's Made for Home Penne Alla Vodka
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