1 lb. short pasta
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/5 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 - 4.5oz. tube double-concentrated tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 ounces vodka
Kosher salt, to taste
Basil leaves (for garnish)
Boil pasta in a heavily salted pot according to package instructions until al dente.
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a Dutch oven or large sauté pan over medium. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until onion is starting to brown around the edges, 5–7 minutes.
Add entire tube of tomato paste and red pepper flakes, stir until paste evenly coats onion. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the paste is deep red and starting to brown on the bottom of the pot, 5–7 minutes.
Add vodka to deglaze the pan and stir to incorporate, scraping the bottom of the pot. Reduce heat to low.
Scoop about ¼ cup boiling water from the pot, then add it to the heavy cream to (this brings up the temperature of the cream so it won’t break when you add it to the pot).
Slowly add warmed cream to the Dutch oven or sauté pan, stirring constantly, until a smooth sauce forms.
Using a spider, transfer pasta to the Dutch oven or sauté pan.
Add ½ cup pasta cooking liquid to the Dutch oven or sauté pan and stir to incorporate, then gradually add half of Parmesan, stirring constantly to melt the cheese. You should have a smooth, glossy sauce that coats each piece of pasta. Season with salt and add a splash more pasta cooking liquid to thin sauce, if needed.
Serve in bowls with remaining cheese, dividing evenly. Tear basil leaves over to garnish.
- I prefer to use rigatoni or penne pasta; the sauce coats the medium size pasta shaped perfectly.
- You can add more or less red pepper flakes depending on your preference.