This Carbone’s Spicy Rigatoni pasta dish is made with rigatoni, butter, onions, tomatoes, Calabrian chilies, vodka, and heavy cream.
Carbone is one of my favorite restaurants in NYC. I love ordering what they are famous for - the spicy rigatoni. The key to making this Spicy Vodka sauce is using crushed Calabrian chilies. I love spicy foods and Calabrian chilis can be pretty hot, but the heavy cream balances the spiciness out. It is up to you to add the chilies if you can’t handle the spice!
What you will need
Tomatoes: I recommend using the whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes in a can for the best taste.
Onions: I would use vidalia onions, although yellow onions work.
Calabrian Chilies: You can use calabrian chili paste or crushed calabrian chilies. I actually bought whole calabrian chilies and crushed them myself.
Vodka: I used titos, but any vodka works since we will be cooking it off.
Heavy Cream: You can use whole milk or half and half, but for best consistency, the heavy cream works best.
How to make Carbone’s Spicy Rigatoni
In a large saucepan on low heat, add the butter and wait for it to melt. Stir in the onions and cook for about 4 minutes. Pour in the water and season with a pinch of salt. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.
Pour in the tomatoes into the onions. Stir well and add the olive oil, Calabrian chilies, vodka and butter. Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
When the sauce seems about ready, add the cream and 3 tablespoons pasta water.
Combine the sauce with the pasta.