Do you need a perfect recipe for easy entertaining? This Pasta Bolognese in Cream Vodka Sauce will make your guest feel like they are in pasta heaven! I promise, you will love this tomato cream based rigatoni dish, spiced up with vodka flavor. It’s elegant, easy to make and fills your house with incredible aromas. Sausage Rigatoni taste amazing in Cream Vodka Sauce!
And as a bonus won’t have to travel to Italy to enjoy a really good Pasta Bolognese. If you are reading this, you can EASILY make a great Bolognese Sauce in your own kitchen, and with a new twist – a la Vodka.
In my search for how to make this sauce, I discovered that there is no single recipe of Bolognese Sauce, but the basic ingredients include meat, tomato sauce and pasta. In this recipe I used sausage as the meat and made from scratch creamy vodka sauce as THE sauce. I also chose Rigatoni for pasta here (it’s tube-shaped and larger than penne – perfect for the thick meat sauce!) and added mushrooms and basil.
The overall taste was meaty but delicate, aromatic, creamy and subtle! I also enjoyed the layering of flavors (vodka, cream, garlic and Italian spices), the simplicity of ingredients (mushrooms, sausage and pasta), and the amazing smell in the kitchen!
Nothing tasted overbearing or under seasoned. This is a fantastic and incredibly tasty meat sauce to go with your pasta.
After making the sauce from scratch, I still cannot believe how easy it is to make home-made vodka pasta sauce, and how much superior in taste it is to the one bought in store. You will never go back to a jarred sauce ever again!
And don’t be concerned about the taste of vodka. You can’t taste the harshness of the vodka, it is simply there to enhance the flavors, just like the wine does.
My father hoped to taste vodka in it after I told him that it contained it, but in vain. His main comment after finishing the dish was: “It has a nice spice to it, but why can’t I taste vodka in this? Did you put it in?” Vodka here just adds a touch of heat to help balance out the sweetness of the tomatoes and the cream.
I highly recommend to use sea or kosher salt here as it lends a more refined taste than regular table salt, has no additives and is saltier. And do not rinse your pasta before adding it to your sauce. Pasta water is starchy, which helps the sauce cling to the noodle:
When the sauce cooks with sausage, mushrooms, garlic, onions and tomatoes and of course, vodka, in it (see details in the recipe box), it will look like A LOT OF SAUCE!
But wait, once you add pasta – you will think you didn’t have enough. To finish sauce preparation, cream and basil is added to the mixture at the very end, right before mixing it with pasta.
It is now our favorite pasta dish! Now you can skip the restaurant and make the best vodka sauce at home!
- 12 oz of rigatoni pasta
- 1.5 pound pork sausage
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 (10 oz) package of mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 1 cup chicken broth, unsalted (if using not sodium free broth, adjust salt to taste)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 20 leaves fresh basil, torn
- Parmesan (optional)
- Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons butter, 4 cloves of minced garlic, and 1 chopped onion. Gently saute onions and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness.
- Add 10 oz of sliced mushrooms, cook for 2-3 minutes until mushrooms release their moisture. Add 1.5 pound of pork sausage, breaking it down with a fork. Cook sausage for 3 minutes, until it’s broken down in nice little chunks. It doesn’t have to be cooked through. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning and mix well into the skillet.
- Reduce heat (or even remove pan from heat) and add ½ cup vodka to the pan, in a steady stream, VERY SLOWLY. Increase heat to medium high to reduce vodka by cooking for 2 or 3 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken broth and 1 can (32 oz) tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Stir cream into sauce and simmer on low heat, while pasta is cooking (next step).
- PASTA: While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente.
- Now back to the skillet with sauce. Add about 20 fresh basil leaves and cook for an additional minute, then remove skillet from heat.
- Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce. Taste and add more seasoning, if necessary.
- Serve in bowls with a few leaves of basil sprinkled on top and more freshly grated Parmesan, to taste.