Years ago, my husband took me to visit his friends in New York. His friend made Rigatoni ala vodka and it was absolutely delicious. I asked for the recipe, and she told me, but I did not write it down. When we got back home, I decided to make it with my husband’s help. (As you will see that was a mistake). I knew the ingredients but could not remember the ingredient measurements. I sauteed the onions and garlic and could not remember the amount of vodka. When I asked Mike if he remembered he said yes it was one cup. I thought it sounded like a lot, but I measured a cup and then proceeded to put all of the remaining ingredients into the skillet. I cooked it for about twenty minutes and like any good chef, I did a taste test. “I can taste the vodka,” I said. (i don’t drink so it was very strong). “it’s all in your head” Mike said. I continued to let it simmer, and simmer, and simmer, and took another taste. I could still taste the vodka. I told Mike I needed to lay down for a bit and passed out on the couch. You guessed it I was drunk.
I found out from a friend who is a chef that you never put the cream into a recipe until the end. the alcohol has to burn off and this cannot happen if you add the cream. He also told me that one cup was too much, one-half cup was perfect, and he was right.
I don’t make this often as there may be a few too many calories but Mike’s daughter Laura likes it so I make it for her Birthday dinner. It has become a tradition.
I have also made this recipe without the vodka, and it was delicious.
We just moved into a new condo (one of our many moves) and Mike decided to make Rigatoni Ala Vodka and surprise me. When I got home, he had the sauce cooking and it smelled delicious. I was impressed. When we sat down, he said, “I met our new neighbors”. I thought that was nice, then he continued “I knocked on their door and said,” I’m your new neighbor and I am making my wife dinner, but I don’t have any vodka, can I please borrow half a cup?”. Mike’s dinner was delicious, and he even brought some over to the neighbor.