This rigatoni with vegan vodka sauce has all the lusciousness of its dairy-laden cousin by incorporating a cashew purée that lends creaminess and body to the tomato sauce. Sorry, Elsie the Cow. (That’s the name of Borden brand’s iconic cow for those of you young whippersnappers.)
Simple, straightforward, no-fuss, and it also happens to taste pretty darn spectacular. Just some of the reasons we love this vegan riff on the creamy, satiating, perennially popular vodka pasta.–Angie Zoobkoff
Rigatoni with Vegan Vodka Sauce
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 30 M
- Serves 4 to 6
- 1 pound rigatoni
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for garnish
- One (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup vodka
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup water
- Finely chopped or ripped fresh basil leaves (optional)
- 1. Set a large pot of heavily salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to the package directions. Drain the pasta, return it to the pot, and place it off the heat.
- 2. Meanwhile, in a large, deep-sided skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. When it shimmers, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully stir in the tomatoes and their juices, salt, and as much or as little brown sugar as personal preference dictates. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add the vodka and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes.
- 3. Toss the cashews and water in a blender and process on high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Carefully add the tomato mixture to the blender and blend again until smooth.
- 4. Pour the sauce into the pot with the pasta and toss to coat. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Top each serving with a pinch of red pepper flakes and, if desired, a scattering of basil. (The sauce can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)