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Rigatoni With Easy Vodka Sauce

The renaissance of vodka sauce is thanks to Gigi Hadid and TikTok.

First popularized in the 70s and 80s, rigatoni (or penne!) with vodka sauce is once again on the menu. Why vodka? It makes for a sweeter, balanced sauce than a traditional rosé. We’ve perfected our adaption of the classic recipe, and we think our version is creamier and more refined than Gigi’s. If you want to call it

Pro tip: The secret to restaurant-quality pasta is an oversized bowl and starchy, salty pasta water – don’t skip that part.


Rigatoni With Easy Vodka Sauce

First popularized in the 70s and 80s, the renaissance of vodka sauce in the 2020s is thanks to Gigi Hadid and TikTok. Why vodka? It makes for a sweeter, balanced sauce. Our adaptation of the classic recipe is creamier and more refined than Gigi's.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 shallots finely chopped (or 1 small onion)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1 cup 35% cream
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 450 g pasta (of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan divided


  • In a large skillet or pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and hot pepper flakes and cook 1 minute.
  • Add tomato paste and cook, stirring until dark red and begins to caramelize, 1 minute. Add vodka and cook until most of liquid is evaporated. Stir in cream, salt and bring to a low boil; remove from heat.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, following the package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add pasta and butter to skillet and cook over medium-low heat.
  • Stir in 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, stirring constantly, adding more of the liquid as needed until butter has melted and sauce is glossy and thickened, about 1 minute.
  • Sprinkle in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, tossing to coat. Divide among bowls and garnish with the remaining Parmesan.


Tip: Your pasta water should be heavily salted and taste briny, and don’t worry, the pasta won’t absorb all the salt just enough to highlight and flavour each noodle. 
For more tips, check out our story on how to cook restaurant-quality pasta.
Keyword rigatoni, rigatoni alla vodka, vodka cream sauce, vodka sauce
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