This Pumpkin Rigatoni Alla Vodka is a fun fall twist on the classic. A creamy tomato vodka sauce is flavored with bacon, fresh sage, warm spices, and pumpkin! It’s cozy, creamy, carby comfort!
- 1 lb rigatoni pasta (or other tubular pasta shape)
- 4 slices of bacon, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Options for Serving:
- The reserved bacon
- Additional fresh sage
- Additional parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until el dente, according to the package directions. Before draining the pasta, use a measuring cup to scoop out roughly 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain.
- While the water for the pasta is coming up to a boil, prep the sauce. In a large skillet, crisp the bacon. Once rendered and crispy, remove the bacon from the pan and set aside on a plate lined with paper towels.
- To the bacon drippings, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, until it begins to soften.
- Add in the garlic, spices, red pepper flakes, and fresh sage and cook, stirring frequently, for another 2 minutes.
- Add in the tomato paste and stir until it is melted and coating everything else in the pan. Cook the tomato paste until it begins to toast and deepen in color slightly. This is where so much of the flavor comes from so don’t rush this step.
- Slowly stream in the vodka, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook for a few minutes or until the vodka is mostly reduced.
- Stir in the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese and stir until everything is creamy and combined. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for a few minutes until everything is warmed through.
- Add the drained pasta, along with a splash of the pasta cooking water, and toss to combine. Keep stirring and adding pasta water, as needed, to create a smooth and creamy sauce that evenly coats all of the noodles (I ended up using close to ¾ cup of pasta water). Season, to taste, with additional salt and pepper.
- Serve the pasta immediately, garnished with the reserved crispy bacon, additional sage, and more parmesan grated over top.
If you want to keep this vegetarian, simply omit the bacon and use a tablespoon of olive oil in place of the drippings.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: pasta
Keywords: pumpkin alla vodka sauce, pumpkin rigatoni all vodka, pumpkin vodka pasta, pumpkin pasta recipe