Instant Pot Rigatoni alla Vodka

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recipe by Ivy Manning

  • Time icon
    Total Time
  • Serves icon
  • Calories icon

The provenance of this comforting pasta dish spiked with vodka is debated, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a popular Italian-American restaurant staple. The thinking is that the vodka tenderizes the tomatoes. Don’t worry, you can’t taste the alcohol—all you’ll detect is a delicious, creamy sauce with a little bit of heat. If you like spicy food, try using pepper-infused vodka for an extra kick.

Inspired by:

recipe updated Feb 4, 2020


  • Unsalted butter icon
    Unsalted butter
    2 tbsp (28g)
  • Garlic clove icon
    Garlic clove
  • Tomato paste icon
    Tomato paste
    2 tbsp (33g)
  • Crushed tomatoes icon
    Crushed tomatoes
    411g (about 1¾ cups)
  • Vodka icon
    ¼ cup (60ml)
  • Rigatoni pasta icon
    Rigatoni pasta
    340g (about 4 cups)
  • Chili flakes icon
    Chili flakes
    1 pinch
  • Water icon
  • Salt & pepper icon
    Salt & pepper
    as needed
  • Heavy cream icon
    Heavy cream
    ½ cup (120ml)
  • Pecorino cheese icon
    Pecorino cheese
    about ½ cup (76g)
  • Fresh basil icon
    Fresh basil
    about ½ cup (22g)


  • kCook icon Wooden spoon
  • kCook icon Instant Pot
  • kCook icon Inner pot

Step preview

  1. Add unsalted butter to the inner pot
  2. Heat until melted - Sauté, Normal
  3. Then add garlic clove to the inner pot
  4. Cook until fragrant - 45 sec
  5. Add tomato paste to the inner pot
  6. Cook until lightly browned while stirring frequently - 1 min
  7. Add crushed tomatoes and vodka to the inner pot
  8. Simmer - 1 min
  9. Cancel - Sauté
  10. Then add rigatoni pasta, chili flakes, water and salt & pepper to the inner pot
  11. Close and lock the lid and turn the steam release handle to Sealing
  12. Pressure cook - Manual, High, 6 min
  13. Quick release
  14. Add heavy cream to the inner pot
  15. Stir until combined
  16. Let the pasta stand in the pot, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the sauce to thicken
  17. Stir pecorino cheese and fresh basil into the inner pot
  18. Season to taste
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