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Spicy Rigatoni with Sausage & Peas

May 23, 2021 | By Jeremy Scheck | 13 Comments

This spicy rigatoni with vodka sauce, sausage and peas is a step above the plain!

Yield: 4-6 servings

Spicy Rigatoni with Sausage & Peas


  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig fresh basil
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Pinch of kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 spicy Italian sausages, removed from casing
  • 1 (4.5 oz) tube of tomato paste
  • 6-8 vine small tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb rigatoni or penne pasta
  • Generous salt for pasta water
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese (at least a 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Chopped fresh parsley to taste


Heat a large pot of water to cook your pasta. While it heats, start making the sauce.

Start by infusing the olive oil with the basil, red pepper flakes and garlic cloves. When the garlic is golden brown, remove it and the basil.

Cook your onion with the infused olive oil and salt in a large pan over medium heat until translucent and slightly golden. Add black pepper, red flakes, and cook 1-2 more minutes. Add the sausage, use a spatula or something to break it into crumbles and let it brown.

Add the tomato paste and continue to cook over medium heat for 2-3 more minutes. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula before adding the diced fresh tomatoes.

Add the vodka; let it simmer briefly before adding the heavy cream. Turn off the heat once the cream simmers for a minute.

Salt the pasta water once it's boiling and add in your rigatoni. Cook 2-3 minutes less than the lower number on the package. Use a mug to reserve at least a half cup of pasta water before draining the pasta.

Mix the drained pasta into the pan with the sauce, along with a splash of pasta water and a generous amount of parmigiano reggiano and the butter. Add the peas.

Return the pan to heat, and let the pasta simmer in the sauce for the last couple minutes of its cook time. Add the parsley and enjoy.

Add a Comment


  1. I made this with the substitute of ground chicken instead of Italian sausage! the sauce was so delicious!

  2. My boy Jeremy has never let me down with a recipe before, and this was no expectation. It was easy to make and delicious! The peas were a great addition. 12/10 would make again.

  3. I made this last night – it was a total hit with the family! You need your own cooking show… I’m deciding what to make next. 🙂

  4. Question re the garlic . Your instructions say to remove it after cooking it in the oil. Then later in the recipe it says to remove it ( again). Can you please clarify ?
    Thank you! It sounds yummy either way!

  5. This recipe is a little confusing. I used too many tomatoes and had to use two pans. It tasted good but is more complicated than the other recipe without sausage. I’d consider using canned tomatoes like the other recipe.

  6. I loved this recipe!! I make penne vodka a lot so this is a great, easy update to it! I loved the addition of tomatoes, sausage & peas

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