Barilla Rigatoni with Pancetta in a Tomato Vodka Sauce

These Divas are suckers for a good plate of pasta (and for vodka)! And we love entertaining, the more visitors, the merrier. Especially hungry men whom the Divas just want to satiate. But sometimes you end up with more house guests than you initially planned and you need to improvise and make something quick, but most definitely delicious. Our Barilla Rigatoni with Pancetta in a Tomato Vodka Sauce is one of those recipes! God knows we always have vodka on hand…

There is a trick to making this simple recipe absolutely divine. Use Barilla pasta, in this case, rigatoni, and always use San Marzano tomatoes. Diva #1 was cooking for a bunch of Italians, and they know their pasta and sauce. She was nervous! There were also a few Latin Americans in the group who drowned the pasta in hot sauce. Honestly it made for a rather eclectic pasta night…

This dish has a whole lot of Italy in it with Barilla pasta and San Marzano tomatoes, but we love Montreal so we added Chuck Hughes Hot Pepper Spread for that bite of Montreal. We assure you that your dinner guests will be begging you for this recipe and you’ll have to say that it’s Diva approved!

Barilla Rigatoni with Pancetta in a Tomato Vodka Sauce

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Recipe type: Main


  • 454 g (1 box) Barilla rigatoni
  • 28 oz (1 can) San Marzano tomatoes, whole
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 500 g (~3 packs) pancetta, cubed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup vodka
  • ½ cup pecorino, grated
  • ½ cup cooking cream
  • 1- 1 ½ tbsp. Chuck Hughes hot pepper spread
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and boil your pasta until perfectly al dente.
  2. Use a food processor or blender to purée the San Marzano tomatoes
  3. In a large skillet heat olive oil, add garlic, shallots and pancetta. Stir frequently. When the shallots are translucent, add the cherry tomatoes and cook until tender for about 10 minutes
  4. Deglaze with vodka and scrape the bottom of the pan for every bit of deliciousness. Add the crushed San Marzano tomatoes and bring to a simmer
  5. Add pecorino, cooking cream, Chuck Hughes’ hot pepper spread, and fresh basil. Stir until combined
  6. Combine about ¾ of the Tomato Vodka sauce with the rigatoni. Assess if you would like to add more sauce, or save the rest for another meal. Serve with a few basil extra basil leaves for a sexy finish

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1 comment

  1. sam sheraton February 11, 2018 at 12:21 pm Reply

    Where can I get San Marzano tomatoes

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