Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Rigatoni alla Vodka

This is my absolute favorite sauce. It's not quite as quick and easy as most recipes I post, but it is SO worth the little extra time it takes!

And side note, I'm having to work on Matt's computer since I poured water over my keyboard two days ago (praying the air-out trick I'm doing right now will work!!), so my better pictures are in the iphoto library on my computer while the ones in this post are from my phone. Really praying I can get it to work again because working on a non-mac computer after using a mac for so long is driving me crazy! okay... vent over. :)

On to the recipe!


1T olive oil
2T butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet onion, diced
2 cups vodka
2 cups chicken stock
2- 28oz cans whole tomatoes (I use Nina's San Marzano from Costco)
1 pound rigatoni
1 cup heavy cream
20 leaves fresh basil, chiffonade
2tsp sugar
1tsp salt
I also add the end piece of a block of Locatelli parmesan while the Vodka reduces- if you don't have this, add 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan when you add the basil.


Sauté onions in butter and olive oil until onions are clear (about 5-7 minutes). Add garlic and simmer for 2 more minutes, stirring the entire time so the garlic doesn't burn. 

Add vodka (all of the alcohol will cook out- this is a family-friendly meal!) and the end of the parmesan block (if you're using shredded parm, wait to add that at the end). Simmer on low-medium heat until Vodka is reduced by half (about 5-7 minutes), making sure to move the parmesan block around so that it doesn't stick to the pan. 

Add tomatoes, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil (if you're using something other than San Marzano tomatoes, add a small pinch of baking soda after the tomatoes have boil to reduce acidity), lower heat so that the tomatoes simmer but don't boil, and cover with a lid for 5 minutes. 

After 5 minutes, remove lid and mash the whole tomatoes with a potato masher (looks like this or this) or fork until they are all crushed (if this doesn't happen easily, cover for 2-3 more minutes... and watch your clothes! This part can be messy.

Add stock. Allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes so that it reduces slightly. 

Add heavy cream and basil. If using shredded parmesan, add that here. 

Season with additional salt, pepper or sugar if needed.

Cook 1 pound of rigatoni to al dente, drain, plate, and cover with sauce and shredded parmesan for garnish.

This amount of sauce will easily cover 1.5lbs of pasta if you're cooking for a larger group. I like to keep the pasta and sauce leftovers separate so that the pasta doesn't get mushy, but if you're serving the entire sauce in one night, you can add the rigatoni back to the pan and pour the sauce over it to mix before serving.

This is delicious as a side to chicken or fish like I did here:

Or on it's own if you're a pasta lover like me. :)

Don't forget to join us TOMORROW for our first Mid-Month Confessions link-up! The posts will go live at 8am EST. And remember, if you don't have a blog, you can still share your confessions in the comments section! Can't wait to laugh together at our less-than-perfect moments this month. 

See you then!



    1. Now that looks amazing!!! 2 cups of vodka? I guess with the chicken stock, heavy cream and tomatoes in there it really isn't very much. Either way....I am going to need to try this!

      1. Yes, two cups! It will reduce by about half before you put in the other ingredients so it really doesn't end up being much. You will love it! And I don't know if you have a Costco near you, but I buy their Vodka. They have two different "Kirkland" brand bottles- one costs $13, the other is $19. I buy the $19 bottle. I would guess there's at least 10-12 cups in there. It is HUGE and has a great flavor. Better than paying that much for a cheaper brand that may not taste as good!