Wow.. this pasta is just EVERYTHING. I can’t take all the credit for this because this is a copycat of NYC’s infamous Carbone’s spicy rigatoni dish that many have copied and I basically tested out a few versions and included what I liked the best, made some tweaks to get he flavor exactly to my liking and violaaaa… the most amazing spicy rigatoni I’ve ever had!
Also, this recipe is totally worth cheating on my non-dairy “diet”. It only has a little bit of heavy cream but trust me IT IS WORTH IT! I actually tested a version of this using oat milk and it ended up being SO spicy because it just wasn’t enough to cut the heat from the Calabrian chili paste, which is what gives this dish its spice.
I strongly, strongly urge you not to make any substitutions or deviations in the recipe below. I’ve tested this so many times and trust me you do not want to make changes! haha
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 medium yellow onion halved and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 5 oz can tomato paste
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon Calabrian chili paste
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 pound dry rigatoni pasta
- 1 cup pasta water scoop out in the last minute before pasta is done
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a large Dutch oven, add the butter and water on medium to medium-low heat. Once it starts foaming, add the onions. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. Place the lid on top and transfer to the oven for 35 minutes.
Transfer the Dutch oven back to the stovetop, remove the lid, and make a hole in the center of the pot. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Add in the tomato paste and stir for about a minute.
Add the can of whole peeled tomatoes and gently break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Add sugar and season with salt to taste. Bring to a low simmer and let cook down for at least 30 minutes.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
After your sauce has cooked for 30 minutes, add in the Calabrian chili paste and heavy cream and stir until well combined.
Now drop your pasta into the boiling salted water and cook just until al dente according to your box instructions. Reserve one cup of pasta water before draining the pasta. Add the pasta to your Dutch oven and stir. Add in some of the pasta water to your liking (the more you add the thinner your sauce will be). I prefer a thicker sauce, so I only added about 1/2 cup. Serve immediately and enjoy!
What do you think?