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
- 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.