Rigatoni Alla Vodka with Whipped Ricotta

5 from 4 votes

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Rigatoni Alla Vodka with Whipped Ricotta

Rigatoni Alla Vodka with Whipped Ricotta

This epic and creamy rigatoni alla vodka recipe is beautiful, and topped up a notch with whipped ricotta underneath! Dreamy! I LOVE this ala vodka recipe.

What I love about this recipe is that it can easily be made in one pan, it can also easily be made ahead of time. You’ll just make your sauce ahead of time, and toss your pasta/pasta water/parmesan cheese at the end when you’re ready to serve. Just perfect!

What does vodka do in pasta sauce?

The vodka in this pasta sauce enhances the tomato base to create a creamy and luscious sauce! The vodka also helps meld with the flavors of your bloomed spices like pepper and chili flakes.

Rigatoni Alla Vodka with Whipped Ricotta

What ingredients do you need for your rigatoni ala vodka recipe?

Whipped Ricotta:

  • Ricotta
  • Lemon zest
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For Your Rigatoni:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic cloves
  • Shallots (or onions)
  • red pepper flakes
  • Tomato paste, fresh tomatoes can work well, but I would suggest using a mix of two, also if you want to also include fresh!
  • Vodka
  • Heavy cream
  • Rigatoni, we are using rigatoni for this recipe, but you can opt to use penne pasta as well!
  • Butter
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pasta water: reserve cups of pasta water
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Olive oil

Some other tips to layer on flavor: sauté bacon, Italian sausage, prosciutto or pancetta when you start the base of this sauce for extra flavor, or toss in some shrimp or chicken as well if you want to add more protein.

Rigatoni Alla Vodka with Whipped Ricotta

Steps to make this recipe

Prep your garlic and shallots, and make your whipped ricotta!

In a blender or food processor, add in your ricotta, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Cook pasta
Boil water and cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to the package for al dente. Make sure to set aside 1 cup + of pasta water.

Begin to make your vodka pasta sauce
In the meantime, while your water is boiling and pasta is cooking. Take another skillet or shallow pot and sweat out your garlic and shallot with a drizzle of olive oil.

Bloom your spices and reduce vodka
Add in your chili flakes and let the spices bloom for 1-2 minutes. Stir and next add in your tomato paste and mix, another few minutes until the tomato paste is cooked down. Add in your vodka and reduce. 

Add cream

Once reduced, add in heavy cream and mix all together.

Finish with butter and parmesan cheese

When your pasta is finished, add it in with your butter and parmesan. Adjust with your pasta water as needed. I like to do a little bit of parmesan and pasta water at a time. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix, finish and serve!

Mix well until combined. Layer on your whipped ricotta in a bowl, and add your rigatoni on top with a drizzle of olive oil, pepper, fresh basil leaves and more freshly shaved parmesan.

Rigatoni Alla Vodka with Whipped Ricotta

Serve this recipe with:

More pasta recipes to check out:

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Rigatoni Alla Vodka with Whipped Ricotta

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Rigatoni Alla Vodka with Whipped Ricotta
5 from 4 votes

Rigatoni Alla Vodka with Whipped Ricotta

This epic and creamy rigatoni alla vodka is beautiful, and topped up a notch with whipped ricotta underneath! Dreamy!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

Whipped Ricotta:

  • 15 oz ricotta
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4th cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For Your Rigatoni:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • pinch of chili flakes, optional
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, adjust with 1 cup if you want more cream
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4th cup parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup pasta water, and more if needed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • drizzle with olive oil, shredded parmesan and fresh basil to serve

Instructions 

  • Prep your garlic and shallot, mince and set aside.
  • Next, make your whipped ricotta. In a blender or food processor, add in your ricotta, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to the package for al dente. Make sure to set aside 1 cup + of pasta water.
  • In the meantime, while your water is boiling and pasta is cooking. Take another skillet or shallow pot and sweat out your garlic and shallot with a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Add in your chili flakes and let the spices bloom for 1-2 minutes. Next add in your tomato paste and mix, another few minutes until the tomato paste is cooked down. Add in your vodka and reduce.
  • Once reduced, add in heavy cream and mix all together.
  • When your pasta is finished, add it in with your butter and parmesan. Adjust with your pasta water as needed. I like to do a little bit of parmesan and pasta water at a time. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix well until combined. Layer on your whipped ricotta in a bowl, and add your rigatoni on top with a drizzle of olive oil, pepper, fresh basil leaves and more freshly shaved parmesan.
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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was great, we loved it! I added sausage to it as well. My only comment would be to maybe bring the ricotta to room temp, because it was cold underneath the hot pasta and I didn’t enjoy the contrast but it was so good it didn’t really matter!

    1. Thanks so much for your review, Chelsea! Yes, if you prefer your ricotta room temp/don’t enjoy the contrast then that’s a perfect idea! Love the sausage add!