- 12oz (340g) rigatoni pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- ¼ cup vodka
- ½ cup Lactancia 35% cooking cream
- 2 spicy Italian sausage (optional) cooked, sliced
- ½ cup Cracker Barrel Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh basil leaves
- Cracker Barrel Parmesan
- Cook the rigatoni pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the rigatoni according to package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving about ½ cup of the pasta water for later use.
- Prepare the sauce: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Add the tomato sauce and vodka to the skillet. Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the alcohol to evaporate.
- Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cooking cream and sausage (if using). Simmer the sauce for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the cooked rigatoni pasta to the skillet with the sauce. Toss well to coat the pasta evenly with the sauce. If needed, add a splash of the reserved pasta water to adjust the consistency.
- Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the pasta and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce coats the pasta
- Serve the spicy rigatoni alla vodka in bowls or plates. Garnish with fresh basil leaves for added freshness and flavour.
Customize the spice level: Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes according to your desired level of spiciness. You can also experiment with other spicy ingredients like diced jalapenos or crushed chili flakes for a unique twist.
Infuse flavors with herbs: Add depth to the sauce by incorporating fresh or dried herbs. Consider fresh herbs like thyme or basil to infuse the sauce with their aromatic flavors.