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Rigatoni alla vodka in a black bowl.
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5 from 5 votes

Spicy Vodka Rigatoni

This spicy vodka rigatoni is rich and creamy and loaded with flavor. It's so easy to make and tastes like one of the best pasta sauces you've ever tasted. Ready in 20 minutes or less!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course, Pasta, Pasta Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 6
Calories: 567kcal
Author: Alison


For the Pasta:

  • 16 ounces Rigatoni Pasta (Dry Weight)

For the Vodka Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion White, Yellow or Brown, Chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic Crushed
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • ¼ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 cups Crushed Tomatoes
  • cup Vodka
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese Freshly Grated
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • ¼ cup Fresh Basil Chopped



  • Put the rigatoni on to cook according to package instructions. When cooked, drain and rinse and set aside.
  • Add olive oil, chopped onions and crushed garlic to a pot on medium heat and sauté until the onions are softened.
  • Add tomato paste and red pepper flakes and sauté with the onions and garlic for a minute.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, vodka, salt, black pepper and light brown sugar and mix in.
  • Cover and bring to a simmer. Then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes until the sauce reduces slightly and thickens.
  • Add freshly grated parmesan, heavy cream and fresh chopped basil and stir in.
  • Add the cooked rigatoni pasta and fold into the sauce.
  • Serve topped with fresh chopped basil and ground black pepper.


  1. Vodka: You can use any brand of vodka. It cooks off so you don't need to worry about anyone getting tipsy after eating this sauce. If you avoid alcohol you can simply omit it from this recipe.
  2. Make it gluten-free: If you serve this with gluten-free pasta then you are good to go! The sauce is already gluten-free.
  3. Storing and Freezing: Keep leftovers stored in the fridge in a covered container for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave. It's not ideal for freezing.


Serving: 1Serve | Calories: 567kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 485mg | Potassium: 654mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1036IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 146mg | Iron: 3mg