Everyone needs a pasta alla vodka recipe and this one using rigatoni will be as comforting as it is delicious. I learned this recipe while cooking at one of the Italian restaurants I used to work at back in the day and it is still one of my favorites to make (and eat)!
The base of the recipe is made with tomato sauce (smooth or chunky, either way works!), onions, vodka and heavy cream. To make it even more irresistible, I’ve added bacon. Bacon adds a rich smoky flavor and extra bite to the dish, which you can replace for pancetta, sausage or even prosciutto. Please trust me on this one… you won’t be disappointed! Lastly, the Spice Tribe California Love All-Purpose Chile Blend and Spice Tribe Maras Chili Flakes are added for that extra zing of flavor. The puzzle of the perfect Rigatoni alla Vodka was solved with the last two additions and now I’m not sure this dish could get any better!
I really hope you enjoy this one!
Step 1 -
Bring 4-6 quarts of water to boil and add salt to taste.
Step 2 -
Add pasta to boiling water and boil for 12 minutes for al dente pasta or follow package directions. Drain well and set pasta aside, reserving 1 cup of that water.
Step 3 -
While the pasta is cooking, in a large pan over medium-low heat place the sliced bacon and cook for 10 to 15 minutes stirring occasionally until fat has rendered out and bacon is crispy, remove the bacon and set aside.
Step 4 -
In the same pan over medium heat add 3 tbsp of olive oil, onions and garlic, season lightly with salt stirring frequently and cook until onions are translucent approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
Step 5 -
Add California Love blend, Maras chili flakes and cook for 1 to 2 minutes stirring frequently to combine well and prevent from burning.
Step 6 -
Add vodka to deglaze the pan and let alcohol evaporate while scraping the bottom of the pan carefully for any bits. (be careful if your stove has an open flame by removing the pan from the heat before adding the vodka).
Step 7 -
Add tomato sauce and cook for 3 minutes stirring frequently to combine well.
Step 8 -
Add heavy cream stirring constantly to combine well, adjust seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper. (Note: if the sauce is too thick, use pasta water to adjust). Return crispy bacon to the sauce and stir well to combine.
Step 9 -
Add drained pasta to the sauce and combine well, serve immediately, sprinkle some grated cheese over the pasta, basil leaves and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
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