*A little history of this family recipe…My mom’s brother, my uncle, went to a little Italian restaurant many years ago. He enjoyed this dish with his wife so much that he asked the chef for the recipe. He then cooked it for me and my then boyfriend (now hubby) and passed it along to me. I’ve been cooking it ever since. I plan on teaching my children with the hopes that they pass it down to their children one day.
Easiest…Rigatoni alla Vodka
• 1 stick of unsalted butter
• 1 medium yellow onion (finely chopped)
• 2-3 cloves of garlic (peeled and minced)
• sea salt
• 1 cup vodka (of your choice)
• 1 32oz can of crushed tomatoes (I prefer San Marzano)
• 3/4 cup of grated Parmigiano cheese
• 1 pound of Rigatoni
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water when it comes to a boil. Add enough salt so that the water tastes like sea water. This is for your Rigatoni.
In a separate sauté pan, melt 1 stick of butter at medium/low. When completely melted add chopped onion and garlic. Cook about 3-5 minutes or translucent. (Turn off the heat) Add 1 cup of vodka, turn the heat back on to low, and with a long match light the vodka. It will take a couple of minutes for all the vodka to burn off. (If you swirl the pan and still see a flame, wait to a few minutes longer to add tomatoes). Add can of crushed tomatoes. Add salt to taste. Stir to combine. Cook at a low simmer for 45 minutes (Stir from time to time). During the last 3-5 minutes, turn off the heat and add Parmigiano cheese.
Cook your Rigatoni to aldenti (to the tooth or follow box instructions). Reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the cooked and drained Rigatoni to your sauce and stir to combine. If the sauce is too thick, gradually add pasta cooking water until you reach the consistency you desire.