Spicy Pasta Alla Vodka with Basil Sauce

Spicy Pasta Alla Vodka with Basil Sauce

Course: MainCuisine: Italian


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 shallot, finely chopped

  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes

  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper

  • 4 oz. tomato paste

  • ¼ cup vodka

  • 1.5 cup heavy cream or half & half

  • grated parmesan cheese for serving

  • Basil sauce
  • combine below ingredients into blender or food processor

  • 3 cups fresh basil

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • ½ tsp lemon juice

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • 1 tbsp water


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 2 cups of pasta water before draining.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, olive oil. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened and darkened.
  • Add vodka to pot and stir to incorporate, cook another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat.
  • Return sauce to medium heat and add 1/2 cup of pasta water and heavy cream, stirring to combine.
  • Add cooked pasta and incorporate all that sauce with the pasta really well. If needed, thin the sauce with additional pasta cooking water and seasoning with salt if needed.
  • Serve topped with basil sauce and grated parmesan cheese.

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