Carbone Spicy Rigatoni (copycat recipe)

spicy rigatoni pasta in bowl

5 from 1 reviews

This copycat Carbone Spicy Rigatoni recipe is easy enough to make on a weeknight but indulgent enough to make for a date night! The vodka sauce is spicy, creamy, and super rich.


  • 1lb rigatoni pasta
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Calabrian chili peppers
  • 12 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese


  1. Cook Pasta - Start by getting a big pot of salted water boiling and cooking the pasta to al dente. When finished cooking, make sure to reserve some of the pasta then drain the pasta (do not rinse) and set aside).
  2. Cook Onions and Calabrian Peppers - While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pot or deep sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions, salt, and pepper and cook until the onions are translucent - 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and Calabrian chili peppers and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  3. Add Tomato Paste and Vodka - Add the tomato paste to the peppers and cook while stirring for a 2-3 minutes until dark red. Pour in the vodka and cook for another 2 minutes  or so while stirring to combine.
  4. Stir in Heavy Cream - Stir in the heavy cream, stirring well to combine.
  5. Add Pasta - Add the al dente pasta to the sauce along with the pasta water and sugar, if using. Fold to coat the pasta and fold in the butter and parmesan cheese.
  6. Taste and Serve - Taste the pasta and adjust the salt/pepper, if needed. Serve and enjoy!


Vodka - Adding vodka to a pasta sauce helps with the texture and creates a smooth sauce. The vodka flavor and alcohol cooks off in the sauce. But, if you don't consume alcohol you can omit and add a little extra pasta water to achieve the desired smooth consistency.


Keywords: Spicy rigatoni, Carbone spicy rigatoni recipe, spicy vodka rigatoni