Rigatoni with Easy Vodka Sauce

This comforting and creamy pasta dish features perfectly cooked rigatoni enveloped in a rich vodka sauce. The sauce is made with simple ingredients such as tomatoes, cream, and, of course, vodka, creating a luxurious and satisfying meal. Ideal for a cozy dinner night, this dish brings out a luscious blend of flavors with ease and minimal effort, making it perfect for a quick yet impressive weeknight dinner.


  • 1 lb rigatoni
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish


  1. Cook the rigatoni in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Crush the tomatoes with your hands and add them to the skillet. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Off the heat, stir in the vodka. Return to the stove and cook until the alcohol evaporates, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the heavy cream and cook, stirring, until the sauce is combined. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss to coat. If the sauce is too thick, add some reserved pasta water until the desired consistency is reached.
  7. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and more grated Parmesan before serving. Enjoy!

Check out the inspiration recipe at Bon Appetit

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