Rigatoni alla Vodka
The provenance of this comforting pasta dish spiked with vodka is debated, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a popular Italian-American restaurant staple. The thinking is that the vodka tenderizes the tomatoes. Don’t worry, you can’t taste the alcohol—all you’ll detect is a delicious, creamy sauce with a little bit of heat. If you like spicy food, try using pepper-infused vodka for an extra kick.
Servings Prep Time
4Servings 10minutes
Cook Time
25minutes
Servings Prep Time
4Servings 10minutes
Cook Time
25minutes
Ingredients
  • 2tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3cloves mediumsliced
  • 2tablespoons tomato paste
  • 14.5ounces crushed tomatoes1 can
  • 1/4cup vodka
  • 12ounces dry rigatoni pastauncooked
  • 1pinch red chile flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2cup heavy cream
  • 1/2cup Pecorino Romano cheesegrated
  • 1/2cup fresh basil leavestorn into small pieces
Instructions
  1. Put the butter in the pot, select Sauté, and adjust to Normal/Medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and vodka and simmer for 1 minute to boil off some of the alcohol. Press Cancel.
  2. Add the rigatoni, red chile flakes, 2 1/2 cups cold water, 1 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Lock on the lid, select the Pressure Cook function, and adjust to Low pressure for 6 minutes. Make sure the steam valve is in the “Sealing” position and that the “Keep Warm” button is off.
  3. When the cooking time is up, quick-release the pressure. Remove the lid. Add the cream and stir to combine. Let the pasta stand in the pot, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the sauce to thicken. Stir the cheese and basil into the pasta and season with salt and black pepper.