Quick & Easy Vegan Recipe Meal Idea: Spicy Vodka Rigatoni

As lockdown progresses and 'Eat Out to Help Out' has come to a close, there have been two distinct food camps. The first is the ‘sourdough’ side; able to spend hours a day whilst locked inside making the most amazing (and sometimes ridiculous) bits of cuisine.The other is the ‘sick of it all’ side, those who got tired of constantly cooking and  spent most of their August eating out in a bid to combat kitchen fatigue. For these two camps, I propose a compromise; a wonderful dish that looks and tastes brilliant but doesn’t take any kneading, basting or roasting. In fact, it’s even vegan. 

This Vegan Spicy Vodka Rigatoni has been somewhat of a saviour in the past few months. The whole meal takes as long as the pasta takes to cook and is a silky, indulgent treat, perfect for a midweek dinner or can act as a starter on the weekends. Heralding from the trendy New York restaurant Carbone, this type of pasta has made waves on the internet, reaching peak virality on TikTok. 

This recipe originally featured dairy products, however in a bid to impress my vegan girlfriend, a few changes makes it completely sustainable without comprising on the taste. Find the recipe below:

Ingredients (for 4 people)

- 400 grams of Rigatoni 

- 3/4 small shallots

- 3 garlic cloves

- 100/150 grams of tomato paste

- 50 ml of vodka

- 150/200ml of soya cream

- 1/2 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes 

- 100 grams of vegan Parmesan

- Parmesan/Basil to taste

What to do:

  1. First boil a large pot of heavily salted water. Finely chop garlic and shallots. Next, heat oil in a pan (about medium heat), add the garlic and shallots, cooking for about 5/8 minutes, until the shallots have softened but not browned.

  2. Add tomato paste and red pepper flakes. Keep stirring to avoid burning for about 5 minutes. Next, add vodka, stir and scrape and proceed to turn the heat down as low as possible.Then, add pasta water (about 50 ml) and mix in with the soya cream, then add all into the pot, slowly.

  3. Add 100 grams of vegan Parmesan and any more pasta water to thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste before adorning with olive oil, more vegan Parmesan and basil leaves. 

Photo credits: Carl Escoffier

About Carl Escoffier

Carl Escoffier is a recent postgraduate from Goldsmiths University. A native Frenchman, he splits his time between London and New York. Carl enjoys writing about food, film, fashion and all things pop culture