Carbone’s Spicy Rigatoni Vodka

Carbone's Spicy Rigatoni Vodka

The actual restaurant recipe for Carbone's signature Spicy Rigatoni Vodka.
Chef Mario Carbone
Restaurant Carbone
Cuisine Italian-American
Servings 4


Onion Soubise

  • 1 Spanish Onion* Julienned
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbsp Water

Tomato Compote

  • 28 oz Jersey Tomatoes (or Whole San Marzano DOP) Drained and Hand Crushed
  • 2.5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Whole Crushed
  • 0.5 oz Basil Leaves with Stems
  • 1.5 tbsp Salt
  • 1.5 tbsp Sugar



Onion Soubise

  • Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a saucepan, then add the onions and water and season with salt.
  • Cook for 15 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent. Do not brown the onions. Add additional water if needed to avoid browning.

Tomato Compote

  • Bloom the olive oil, garlic, and basil on low heat for 20 minutes.
  • Heat the tomato in stainless steel pot and season with salt and sugar.
  • Slowly strain and drizzle the oil into the tomatoes while stirring vigorously to emulsify. Discard the basil and the garlic. Cook the mixture for 15 minutes on medium-low heat.


  • After the onion soubise and tomato compote are finished cooking, boil the pasta water, warm the serving plates, and then make the sauce.

  • Once the pasta water boils add salt. Cook the pasta to ~45 secs less than al dente, stirring occasionally.
  • While the pasta is cooking, assemble the sauce: combine the heavy cream, tomato compote, onion soubise, Calabrian chili paste, and butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat and bring together to form a sauce.

  • Once the pasta is finished cooking, add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss together until you reach the desired consistency—saucy but not too saucy.

  • Serve on the heated dishes.


*The original restaurant recipe calls for 3 Spanish onions cooked in 3 tbsp butter and 3 tbsp water in order to yield 1 pint of onion soubise. This is volume prep and used across multiple portions. When proportioned down to match the rest of the recipe, 1 Spanish onion is typically sufficient. 
**The restaurant uses fresh extruded rigatoni, hence their slightly curved appearance and very soft texture. LumacheMezze ManicheMezzi Rigatoni, or Rigatoni can be used. Carbone uses dried pastas from Setaro in other pasta dishes.
No vodka is used in the restaurant version.
Carbone uses a Tuscan-style olive oil—a blend of moraiolo, frantoio, and leccino olive varieties—from DaVero in California.
This recipe comes from a source within the restaurant; however, each component can be reconstructed from publicly available sources, including:
  1. Flavours of Hong Kong (ISBN: 9780648167723, p. 100)
  2. Mario Cantone's Ultimate Chicken Parmesan (Tomato Compote Recipe)
  3. [Defunct] Carbone's Spicy Rigatoni Vodka