While the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni Recipe with their rendition of a booze-spiked vodka sauce may be the most well-known dish at Carbone, the nouveau red sauce establishment in lower Manhattan, the rest of the menu is just as inventive and tasty.
We found out that instead of using vodka to give it a little kick, they use Calabrian chilis to provide some spice. The Calabrian chilies are available in Italian grocery stores or online. The true trick, however, is caramelizing a large number of onions before gently boiling them down and combining them into a smooth, savory sauce laced with parm, Carbone Spicy Rigatoni Recipe.
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 2 1/2 c. onion (about 2 medium), finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 to 4 tbsp. crushed Calabrian chiles in oil, to taste
- 1 (6-oz.) can of tomato paste
- 1 (14-oz.) can of whole tomatoes
- 1/4 c. vodka
- 1 c. heavy cream
- Kosher salt
- 1 lb. pipette or lumaconi pasta
- 1 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- Step 1: Melt butter over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add onions and cook, often stirring, until golden brown and caramelized, 18 to 20 minutes. Add garlic and chiles and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the cooked onion mixture to a small bowl; set aside.
- Step 2: Add tomato paste to the pot and cook, occasionally stirring, until thickened slightly and darkened in color, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in tomatoes, their liquid, and the vodka, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Bring to a simmer.
- Step 3: Cook, breaking up tomatoes until the sauce has thickened and tomatoes have broken down about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream until fully incorporated.
- Step 4: Use an immersion blender or pour the sauce into a traditional blender and blend until smooth—return the sauce to the pot.
- Step 5: Add 2 tablespoons salt to a large pot of boiling water and add pasta. Cook until al dente according to package directions. Reserve 1½ cups pasta water before draining.
- Step 6: Return sauce to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add ½ cup pasta water and Parmesan and stir until incorporated. (For a smoother sauce, add pasta water ¼ cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency.) Season to taste with salt.
- Step 7: Add reserved cooked onion mixture and pasta to the sauce and toss until fully coated and heated through.
- Step 8: Serve immediately with a light dusting of Parmesan.