Spicy Vodka Rigatoni 

Spicy Vodka Rigatoni, a luscious, spicy, tomato cream sauce tossed with rigatoni and fresh parmesan. Who doesn’t love vodka sauce? It’s probably my favorite sauce, especially when made with a good kick of spice! 

Spicy Vodka Rigatoni 

Spicy Vodka Rigatoni is one of our favorite pasta dishes. I almost always have the ingredients at home and it takes minutes to come together. The spicy Calabrian chilis add a perfect amount of heat. I make mine with a side of cheesy garlic bread and my kiddo is in absolute heaven. 

Spicy Vodka RigatoniSpicy Vodka Rigatoni

Carbone is known for their fab “spicy rig” but trust me after making this, you won’t find the need to wait for reservations to open up. There’s a reason the Carbone vodka rigatoni is so famous, it’s creamy, spicy, and one of the best bowls of pasta to dig a fork into. 

Spicy Vodka Rigatoni

This recipe makes a big batch, perfect for when you’re craving a big bowl or pasta or have dinner party guests. Paired with a fresh salad and cheesy garlic bread, you’ll have the best dinner without stepping out.

Spicy Vodka Rigatoni

Spicy Vodka Rigatoni 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A luscious, spicy, tomato cream sauce tossed with rigatoni and fresh parmesan.
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 lb mezzi Rigatoni 
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup white onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoon Calabrian chili paste
  • 2 tablespoon garlic paste; 4-6 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano; chopped finely 
  • ⅓ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or vodka
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt; adjust to taste
  1. Add 1 lb of mezzi Rigatoni to salted water and cook pasta to al dente, until it still has a slight bite to it. Strain and reserve two cups pasta water and set aside.
  2. Warm a large pot with olive oil on medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until soft and translucent.
  3. Add the Calabrian chili paste and garlic, cook for 2-3  minutes, until fragrant before adding the tomato paste. Mix to combine with the other ingredients and cook for approximately 5 minutes, letting the tomato paste to caramelize slightly.
  4. Season with fresh oregano and salt, add the white wine vinegar (or vodka) into the pan, deglaze and mix all of the ingredients together.
  5. Adjust the heat to low and add the heavy cream. Stir until combined and let it simmer on low heat.
  6. Add the cooked pasta, a cup of pasta water, and shredded Parmesan to the sauce and stir together. Taste and adjust the salt if needed.
  7. Enjoy immediately.
Don’t skip the white wine vinegar (or vodka), it helps balance the rich tomato flavor and add a perfect zing to balance to the creaminess or the cream. 

If you want the sauce to be more saucy, add more pasta water.

If you can’t find Calabrian chili pepper paste use a tablespoon of dried crushed red flakes.

This pasta dish works best with pastas such as rigatoni, shells, and penne. 



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