Melissa jo’s Rigatoni alla Vodka

Oh my my my GOODNESS! If you want a delicious meal with a few ingredients, little effort, but a BIG pay off! Try my Rigatoni alla vodka! It is made with tomato paste, Pecorino Romano, onions, garlic, and few more delicious ingredients. YOU MUST try this! Make it!

rigatoni alla vodka

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Rigatoni alla Vodka! #vodkasauce #italianamerican #recipes #easyweeknightmeals

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Tips & Tricks: 

Pasta Water: Pasta water is important for two things in this dish:

  • use a ladle full of hot water BEFORE you boil the pasta in it to add to a cup of heavy cream. This will temper the heavy cream so it doesn’t curdle when you add to the sauce.
  • scoop and set aside a cup full of pasta water while the pasta is boiling in the water or save some while you are draining the pasta to use in the sauce. This will loosen up your sauce and make it extra creamy and PERFECT!

Here is the pan I used to make my sauce:

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Melissa Jo Real Recipes 

Rigatoni alla Vodka


  • 1 lb. of rigatoni pasta
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of pecorino romano cheese for the sauce
  • 1/2 a medium onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (make as spicy as you like…I would start with 1/2 tsp. then add from there)
  • 2 oz. of vodka
  • 1/4 cup of hot water
  • 1/2 cup of pasta water (about a 1/2 cup but save aside a full cup of pasta water in case you need more)
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Boil a large pot of water and salt it generously
  2. in a sauce pan or skillet with high sides sauté the onion and garlic in butter and olive oil
  3. tempered cream: once the water is reaching a boil in the large pot scoop out some and add to the heavy cream and stir (set this aside until you need it)
  4. add the tomato paste and crushed red pepper to the pan and sauté about 5 minutes (medium heat)
  5. add the vodka and let the alcohol burn out at least one minute or so before adding other ingredients
  6. reduce the heat to medium-low and add the tempered cream (stir until combined and pink)
  7. add the Pecorino Romano and take the skillet off the heat and stir it in
  8. drain the rigatoni once it’s al dente
  9. add the rigatoni to your skillet (mix)
  10. start slowly adding the pasta water and stir until the sauce reaches the consistency you desire
  11. garnish with fresh basil, pepper, and more pecorino Romano cheese
  12. serve and ENJOY!


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