Go Back
spicy vodka rigatoni
Print Recipe
4.23 from 54 votes

Spicy Vodka Rigatoni

This Spicy Vodka Rigatoni is one of my all time favorite dishes. It’s easy to make, it tastes delicious, and the spicy Calabrian chilis make it completely addicting! And best of all, the whole thing can be made in under 30 minutes!


  • 3 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 shallots minced (or substitute ½ sweet onion, minced)
  • cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup  tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Calabrian chili or substitute for ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ shot vodka
  • ¾ cup  heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated parmesan divided
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb.  tubed pasta such as penne or rigatoni


  • Add 1 lb of Rigatoni to salted water and cook pasta until it’s al dente. Strain and reserve two cups pasta water and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat then add shallots and garlic. Cook down for a few minutes, stirring often, until the garlic and shallot are soft and fragrant but not browned.
  • Next, add tomato paste and Calabrian chili paste to the pan and continue stirring until everything is incorporated and the tomato paste has darkened slightly; about 5 minutes.
  • Now add the vodka and stir vigorously for another 3 minutes until the pan has been completely deglazed and the sauce has come together.
  • Turn the heat to medium-low and add heavy cream and stir until incorporated. Let it simmer on low for 3 minutes then add in ½ cup of parmesan cheese and continue stirring until it’s melted.
  • Now add in the al dente pasta and toss it with the sauce. Then add ½ a cup of pasta water until the sauce becomes smooth and creamy! If it still looks dry, add more of the reserved pasta water, little by little, over medium-low heat until the sauce looks silky and smooth.
  • Add a few scoops of the pasta to each bowl and top with remaining parmesan cheese!