Skip to Content
Recipes

How Chef Joe Isidori Ratchets up His Rigatoni alla Vodka

Appetito's contributor Morgan Hines can't forget the signature dish at NYC hotspot Arthur & Sons, so she gets the inside scoop and recipe from owner/chef Joe Isidori.

Chef/Owner Joe Isidori of Arthur & Sons plating his Spicy Rigatoni alla Vodka.

When I visited Arthur & Sons for the first time in May, the West Village red sauce joint blew me away. And ever since, one dish in particular has been on my mind: Spicy Rigatoni alla Vodka.

The dish served at Arthur & Sons is recognized as among some of the best in the city (and not just by me!). 

I’ve had other variations I’ve loved elsewhere, too — Carbone and Parm, for example, make an excellent rigatoni served in a spicy vodka sauce. But the version on the Arthur & Sons’ menu by owner Chef Joe Isidori tastes a little different.

Isidori, a third-generation chef from a family that has run restaurants in NYC since 1954, tells Appetito that the classic dish has been reworked for a more contemporary diner with smoked speck, chili, and extra-large rigatoni noodles.

“We use double concentrated tomato paste, smoked speck, and high-quality Calabrian chili to give our spicy rigatoni added flavor and a kick,” Isidori says. “Traditionally, people will use prosciutto and chili flakes, but we wanted to give our spicy rigatoni a modern flair without straying too far from tradition.”

And his iteration of the dish has been in the works for some time.

“I’ve been making rigatoni alla vodka as long as I remember,” he says, noting that when he was growing up, he would find ways to make his rigatoni alla vodka extra spicy. 

“As a kid, I’d add chipotle adobo instead of chili for extra heat,” he says.

Isidori shares the recipe for his restaurant’s popular dish with Appetito, in case you want to give it a whirl at home. Feel free to make it as spicy as you wish!

Spicy Rigatoni alla Vodka

Spicy Rigatoni alla Vodka

Recipe by Joe Isidori
4.5 from 2 votes
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes

Ingredients

  • 16 oz 16 rigatoni (Bronze Cut)

  • 5 tablespoons 5 double concentrated tomato paste

  • 3 cups 3 heavy cream

  • 1 1 shallot, sliced

  • 8 cloves 8 garlic, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Calabrian chili paste

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 chopped speck or prosciutto

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 cup 1 grated Pecorino Romano cheese

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 vodka

  • 1 1 chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano for shaving

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • In a pan, sauté the shallot, garlic and speck or prosciutto with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and pepper until slightly brown.
  • Add tomato paste and chili paste, cook until combined and slightly caramelized.
  • Carefully deglaze the pan with vodka and then add heavy cream.
  • Slightly reduce the sauce and add cooked rigatoni (use pasta water to adjust the sauce if a bit too thick).
  • Toss all with Pecorino Romano cheese and plate.
  • Shave fresh Parmigiano Reggiano with a microplane over the top.
  • Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @appetitomagazine on Instagram and hashtag it with #italianfoodanddrink

Like this recipe?

Follow @Appetitomagazine on Pinterest

Follow us on Facebook!

Follow us on Facebook

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for reading!

Register to continue

See all subscription options

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Appetito

Sunday Shop: No Bull, Zero Restriction, Lawn Club

Morgan Hines seeks out the best in not only food and drink but style, housewares, and more. Welcome to Appetito’s Sunday Shop!

June 23, 2024

20 Things to Know About Prosecco DOC

National Prosecco Week is coming next week, which makes this a great time to freshen up your knowledge of the popular Italian sparkling wine.

June 19, 2024

Look Inside Massara, the New NYC Restaurant From Stefano Secchi

The acclaimed chef’s follow-up to Rezdôra, Massara focuses on the cuisine of Campania, with fresh pastas, roasted meats, pizzettes, and more.

June 18, 2024

How To Apply for the S. Pellegrino Young Chefs Academy Competition

Applications close this week for the prestigious culinary competition that has become a springboard for launching chef careers.

June 17, 2024
See all posts