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Emma’s Eatery Rigatoni alla Vodka


1 28fl oz can San Marzano tomatoes, whole

1 small Spanish onion, thinly sliced

30ml water

3 Tbs butter, divided

½ cup cream, whipping or light

4 cups rigatoni, I like the brand Rustichiella d’Abruzzo

1 tsp sugar

2 Tbs vodka

2 tsp salt, divided

1 Tbs jarred Calabrian chilies in oil or chili pepper flakes

½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


  1. Bring your pasta water to a boil and season with 1 Tbs of salt.
  2. In one pan on low heat add in 1 Tbs butter, 30ml water and Spanish onion. Allow to cook on low, we do not want to colour the onions.
  3. In a separate large shallow frying pan add in your tomatoes and crush by hand. Add 1 Tbs of kosher salt and sugar. Bring to a simmer and reduce for about 30 minutes. We want most of the water to evaporate and leave us with a concentrated tomato flavour.
  4. Turn on high heat and add your vodka into the tomato sauce. Cook off the alcohol for a minute or so, then return to the heat to medium and add in the onions, cream and 2 Tbs of butter.
  5. Drop your pasta into the water until al dente. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water.
  6. Once your pasta is cooked add it to the sauce. It is best to finish cooking the pasta in the sauce. Add in 1 cup of pasta water to start to loosen up the sauce and finish cooking your noodles.
  7. Turn off the heat add in the parmesan cheese.
  8. Plate and top with more cheese for good measure!

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