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Playing How to Make Rigatoni with 3 Pepper Sauce | Rachael Ray

Rach wrote this recipe for the event she and Denis Leary support every May 4th celebrating International Firefighters' Day. "This is a meat-free version so everybody can enjoy it, but it's basically chicken riggies!" she exclaims. "It's vodka sauce with peppers and onions. You can serve some sausages on the side, if you like. You can put chicken in it, if you like—that's the original recipe. It's a great recipe that you can adapt for every diet, it's super-fun and riggies just refers to rigatoni." We're sold! 


  • 2 red field peppers or 2 large store-bought roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 Cubanelle mild peppers, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, grated or sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup vodka
  • One 28-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups passata
  • A small splash of brine, plus 3 tablespoons hot pickled cherry peppers
  • 1 handful basil, torn and a few small leaves for garnish
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Serves: 6


Heat a large pot of water to boil for pasta.

Rachael Ray 8-Quart Oval Covered Pasta Pot with Pour Spout

Rachael Ray 8-Quart Oval Covered Pasta Pot with Pour Spout

Rachael Ray

If you're roasting red peppers, blacken them under high heat of broiler or over open flame. Cover peppers, then peel, seed and chop. 

Heat EVOO in saucepot or Dutch oven, 3 turns of the pan, add fresh peppers, onions, garlic, roasted peppers, salt and pepper. Partially cover the pot and soften 5 minutes, then uncover, add vodka and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes, passata, brine and hot peppers and stir in torn basil. Lower heat and stir in the cream.  

Boil pasta in salted water 1 minute less than package directions, reserve ½ cup salty water and drain. Combine the pasta, sauce and cheese and top with a few small leaves of basil.