Use Up the Leftover Holiday Alcohol with this Rigatoni in Vodka Sauce

Use Up the Leftover Holiday Alcohol with this Rigatoni in Vodka Sauce

Rigatoni in Vodka Sauce

You can whip up this classic pink sauce right at home.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword heavy cream, Parmesan, rigatoni, tomato paste, vodka
Servings 4 people
Author Déja Todman


  • 1 lb. rigatoni
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • Parmesan cheese 4 oz.
  • 1 tube double-concentrated tomato paste 4.5-oz
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • vodka 2 oz.
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Basil leaves for serving


  1. Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil.
  2. Peel and chop the onion. Peel cloves of garlic and set aside.

  3. Grate Parmesan into a large bowl.
  4. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, cooking until tender and lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add red pepper flakes and tomato paste, stirring to coat the onions. Cook until the paste begins to caramelize about 7 minutes.
  6. Pour in vodka to deglaze the pan, stirring to loosen the browned bits at the bottom of the pan.
  7. Using a heatproof cup, scoop 1/4 cup of boiling water and add heavy cream.
  8. Add the heavy cream to the vodka-tomato paste-onion mixture and mix well to incorporate. A thick sauce will begin to form.
  9. Cook rigatoni in boiling water according to package instructions. About 2 minutes before the time is up, scoop another cup of pasta water and set aside.
  10. With a large slotted spoon, transfer rigatoni to the sauce.
  11. Toss, adding 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce. Add half the Parmesan, stirring to incorporate. Season with salt to taste and add more water if needed.
  12. Portion into bowls, serve, and enjoy! 😀

You May Also Like