Vodka Sauce Recipe
Straight from the Big Apple

A traditional vodka sauce recipe straight from Italians outta New York where this Italian pasta sauce originated. Yo! Ya gonna love it. Yep, you got it. Rigatoni alla vodka was an Italian recipe born from the Italian-American families straight off the boat that found there home in the big apple.

Rumor has it that Alla Vodka wasn't an old family recipe handed down from generation to generation of Italian family recipes. In fact the history of pasta will tell you were the Vodka Sauce recipe was first recorded in New York City at a restaurant called Orcini's in 1970.

It's a pasta sauce with Pancetta, cream and rich San Marzano tomatoes that create a blend of gorgeous flavors. The salty flavor of the pancetta tamed by the cream and the sweet of the tomato are the perfect and unexpected combination that have become a tradition on every Italian restaurant nation wide.

You can use bacon but then it's a whole different recipe and to be honest it's worth the trip the the Italian grocer to pick up pancetta.

New York is the second largest population of Italian's in the world so I think it's safe to say that it was created by Italians.

To me it doesn't matter in the least where the Alla Vodka sauce was created. All I know is that it's delicious!

Rigatoni Alla Vodka Ingredients:

sliced pancetta Vodka Sauce Ingredients

You can use a basic marinara sauce recipe for a delicious base or use 2 13oz cans of crushed San Marzano tomatoes. Either way you'll need a total of 28oz of sauce.
  1. 1 lb of Rigatoni, (I used Paccheri) Very similar to rigatoni but larger with no ridges.
  2. 2 13oz cans of San Marazano or Marinara sauce
  3. 2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
  4. ½ small onion chopped
  5. 3 leaves of basil thinly sliced
  6. 3 oz of sliced Pancetta
  7. ½ cup of heavy cream
  8. ⅓ cup of Vodka
  9. Salt and Pepper to taste
  10. Chopped Italian parsley
  11. Freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano for the table

Preparing Your Vodka Sauce Recipe:

sliced pancetta in pan sautee pancetta, onion, and garlic

Start by sautéing the sliced Pancetta on a med heat until crispy around the outside but tender. Now add the garlic and onion and saute until it’s soft and translucent.

Vodka ingredients cooking Add Vodka

Put your stove on med-high and slash in the Vodka. Stir as you let it steam off and deglaze the pan. Vodka ingredients Carmelized Tomato in Vodka Sauce

By the time it reduces you'll be left with a caramelized mixture. WOW, yummy! Pour in your Marinara or San Marzano tomatoes and simmer

Vodka Sauce add Cream Vodka Sauce completed

Slowly add the cream and stir. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

What you have for a finished sauce is a rich and creamy textured sauce with chunks of sweet tomatoes and beautiful flavor.

Now time for the Pasta. My favorite part!

Serving Rigatoni Alla Vodka:

Drain you pasta after it's cooked al dente and place in a large Italian ceramic bowl.

Pour the Vodka Sauce recipe over the pasta and toss until all the pasta is coated with the rich tomato sauce.

Serve out each portion on individual plates and sprinkle with chopped Italian parsley.

I'll always have a bowl of parmigiano cheese on the table so my guests can use as little or as much as they like.

It's customary.

Personally don't use parmigiano on this dish. Just a personal preference. I love to taste the light, sweet cream flavor with the salty pancetta.

Vivere, Amare, Ridere e Mangiare Bene
Live, Love, Laugh and Eat Well!
Kira Volpi

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