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Spicy Rigatoni Vodka | Diethood

Spicy rigatoni alla vodka hits the jackpot for taste! Tender rigatoni pasta will get tossed in creamy tomato sauce with a splash (or two) of vodka and zesty crimson pepper flakes. Should you’ve ever tried Italian-American restaurant Carbone’s spicy rigatoni vodka, you’ll love this home made model.

I really like straightforward pasta dinners like this rigatoni vodka pasta and creamy lemon pasta, which I can have on the desk in 20 minutes. Simply add a facet of breadsticks!

Overhead view of spicy rigatoni alla vodka garnished with chopped parsley in a large skillet, with a wooden spoon and small bowls of garnishes on the side.Overhead view of spicy rigatoni alla vodka garnished with chopped parsley in a large skillet, with a wooden spoon and small bowls of garnishes on the side.


I’m unsure what the Italians thought after they determined a shot of vodka belonged in a pot of creamy tomato pasta sauce, however I’m glad they did. Only a splash is all it takes to tie this vodka sauce collectively, from the caramelized shallots to the tangy tomato paste and tingly crimson pepper flakes.

I can’t await our subsequent date night time in as a result of this spicy rigatoni vodka is ideal. Goce, my pasta-loving husband, goes to be thrilled! In the meantime, I’ll be searching for an excuse to entertain. You’ll be able to guess this straightforward pasta shall be on the menu!

Why I Love This Spicy Rigatoni alla Vodka Recipe

Prepared in 20 minutes. Other than boiling the pasta individually, you may make this rigatoni vodka recipe in a single pan on the stovetop in 20 minutes or much less. 

Zesty and creamy. I really like the zing of chili flakes in my favourite home made vodka sauce. It’s straightforward to adapt for those who’d favor your sauce milder or extra spicy. In the meantime, this sauce seems SO silky due to slightly vodka magic and an excellent quantity of heavy cream. I believe we’re all in settlement that carbs take a corridor move on pasta night time.

Date night time authorised. I don’t know if it’s the colour of the sauce (crimson is the colour of affection, in any case), however I can’t consider a greater dinner-for-two pasta dish than this spicy rigatoni vodka with a facet of filet mignon! And even higher, you’ll have leftovers for lunch!

Ingredients for spicy rigatoni alla vodka with text labels overlaying each ingredient.Ingredients for spicy rigatoni alla vodka with text labels overlaying each ingredient.

What You’ll Want

This spicy rigatoni alla vodka is an element pasta arrabbiata, half creamy tomato pasta, and 100% straightforward to make with easy components. Discover some fast notes under. Make sure you scroll to the recipe card after the put up for a printable components checklist with quantities.

  • Rigatoni – I really like rigatoni or mezzi (smaller rigatoni) in recipes like this as a result of the little tube shapes get coated with sauce in and out. However you should utilize any pasta you will have within the cabinet. For greatest outcomes, although, attempt to substitute the same pasta with ridges, like penne.
  • Olive Oil – For sautéeing.
  • Shallot – Or one other delicate onion, like yellow onion.
  • Garlic – Freshly minced. Garlic powder can be utilized if recent garlic isn’t obtainable.
  • Tomato Paste – This may be substituted with tomato puree or tomato sauce in a pinch.
  • Butter – A few knobs of butter give the sauce further richness. You’ll be able to skip this for those who’d like.
  • Purple Pepper Flakes – Crushed crimson pepper flakes are all the time my first selection, however you may substitute dried flakes with crushed Calabrian chilis or chili paste, just like the Carbone recipe. Adapt the quantity to style.
  • Vodka – The sport-changer! You don’t want to make use of the top-shelf stuff, however I all the time advocate cooking with alcohol that you just’d prefer to drink. And whereas it technically received’t be alla vodka, you may substitute vodka on this sauce if wanted. Extra on this under.
  • Heavy Cream – You should use complete milk as an alternative or half & half, however the sauce received’t be fairly as silky.
  • Parmesan – For the love of taste, please use freshly grated!
  • Seasonings – Salt and pepper, plus recent parsley for garnish.
Close-up photo of cooked tube pasta in a spicy vodka sauce and garnished with chopped parsley.Close-up photo of cooked tube pasta in a spicy vodka sauce and garnished with chopped parsley.

What Does Alla Vodka Imply?

As you may see, rigatoni alla vodka is usually tomato sauce with the addition of cream, vodka, and on this case, crimson pepper flakes. The cream softens the tanginess of the vodka and kick from the chilis, and offers the sauce its iconic pink-orange shade.

Whereas vodka sauce’s origins are slightly fuzzy, some say that the unique recipe, penne alla vodka, originated in Bologna, Italy. Which simply so occurs to be the hometown of one other favourite of mine, Bolognese sauce! Overlook pasta night time, I’m sensing a pasta WEEK approaching.

Can I Substitute the Vodka?

Positive, and your sauce will nonetheless end up tasty. If it is advisable to substitute the vodka in your vodka sauce, gin or dry white white are good substitutes. Hen broth can be used for those who’d favor to make your sauce alcohol-free. 

Easy methods to Make Spicy Rigatoni Vodka

Let’s get cooking! Gentle the candles, pour your self a glass of cool rosé (or shake your self a martini whereas the vodka’s out), and comply with together with the brief recipe notes outlined right here. You’ll discover printable directions within the recipe card.

  1. Cook dinner your pasta. Begin by cooking the rigatoni in salted boiling water. Goal for al dente, which means agency with slightly chunk. Earlier than you drain the pasta– crucial– scoop out 1 cup of the pasta water and set this apart for the sauce. 
  2. Put together the sauce. Drain the pasta, and get shallots and garlic sauteeing in a skillet. Add tomato paste and butter, and stir within the crimson pepper flakes. 
  3. End the sauce. After that’s cooked off slightly, you’ll pour within the vodka to deglaze the pan. Lastly, whisk within the heavy cream and parmesan cheese. You’ll need to do that over low warmth in order that the dairy doesn’t break up.
  4. Put all of it collectively. Toss your cooked rigatoni proper within the skillet with the sauce. Drizzle in slightly pasta water, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with recent parsley. Buon appetito!
Photo of cooked tube pasta in a skillet with a wooden spoon stirring through it.Photo of cooked tube pasta in a skillet with a wooden spoon stirring through it.

Recipe Suggestions

My prime suggestions for cooking the very best rigatoni alla vodka come right down to the way you cook dinner your pasta:

  • Salt the pasta water. The important thing to completely seasoned pasta is well-seasoned pasta water. Ask any Nonna from Italy, and he or she’ll let you know, that the water used to cook dinner pasta ought to be salty just like the Mediterranean Sea. I like to recommend including wherever between 1-3 tablespoons relying on how a lot water is within the pot. Additionally, professional tip: You should use any cheap desk salt for this. Save your fancy sea salt for ending!
  • Save the pasta water. Reserve a minimum of 1 cup of the water you used to boil your pasta earlier than you chuck the remainder out. If it is advisable to skinny out the sauce, doing so with pasta water is the easiest way to convey your vodka sauce collectively with out compromising taste. The starches within the water emulsify with the opposite components, and the salt helps construct up the flavour.
  • Don’t overcook. Make certain to cook dinner the rigatoni till it’s simply al dente. You need the within to be slightly agency whereas the skin has some give. Observe the instructions on the bundle, as not all pasta manufacturers cook dinner the identical. And, do your greatest to not overcook the noodles, as they’ll develop into mushy.

Serving Options

This spicy rigatoni vodka is the right meatless dish simply begging to be devoured with a facet of focaccia and a glass of your favourite wine. Often, all we have to spherical out a meal is a sharing-sized chef’s salad, or this Mediterranean salad with roasted candy corn and chickpeas.

Should you’d favor a cooked veggie facet, strive lemon butter inexperienced beans or sautéed broccolini. This rigatoni alla vodka is scrumptious in any season, whether or not we’re entertaining on a cold winter night or eating open air in the summertime!

Rigatoni pasta served in a bowl with a fork.Rigatoni pasta served in a bowl with a fork.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Hold leftover rigatoni in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 5 days. Often, I’m not too keen on freezing pasta recipes, particularly ones with cream within the sauce, for the reason that dairy tends to separate as soon as it’s thawed.

To reheat, heat your leftovers in a saucepan on the stovetop with a sprinkle of water to assist loosen the sauce. You may also reheat this pasta within the microwave in 30-second increments.

Extra Straightforward Pasta Recipes

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  • Cook dinner the pasta. Carry a big pot of water to a boil. Add the teaspoon of salt to the boiling water, adopted by the rigatoni. Cook dinner the pasta based on the bundle directions till al dente. As soon as cooked, drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water. Put aside.

  • Saute the aromatics. In a big skillet or saucepan, warmth the olive oil over medium warmth. Add the shallots and saute till translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 15 seconds or till aromatic.

  • Construct taste. Stir within the tomato paste, butter, and crimson pepper flakes. Saute for 2-3 minutes till the tomato paste has darkened in shade.

  • Deglaze. Pour the vodka into the skillet and cook dinner for 2-3 minutes, stirring sometimes to knock any brown bits off of the underside of the pan.

  • Make it creamy. Whisk within the heavy cream and let the sauce simmer for a couple of minutes.

  • Make it tacky. Flip the warmth to low and add the cheese. Stir till melted.

  • Put all of it collectively. Add the cooked rigatoni to the skillet. Toss to coat the pasta. If the sauce is just too thick, stir in a little bit of the reserved pasta water to skinny it out. Flip off the warmth and season with salt and pepper to style.

  • Serve. Serve heat garnished with recent parsley.

Serving: 8ounces | Energy: 569kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 15g | Fats: 26g | Saturated Fats: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fats: 2g | Monounsaturated Fats: 8g | Trans Fats: 0.2g | Ldl cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 725mg | Potassium: 396mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1.322IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 157mg | Iron: 2mg

Dietary data is an estimate and supplied as courtesy. Values could range based on the components and instruments used. Please use your most well-liked dietary calculator for extra detailed data.



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