Master the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni Recipe at Home!

Plate of creamy Carbone Spicy Rigatoni garnished with Parmesan on a rustic table with a glass of red wine.

Dive into the world of Italian cuisine with the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni Recipe. This dish is inspired by the renowned Carbone restaurant located in Greenwich Village, promises a delightful blend of spicy Calabrian chilis and creamy vodka sauce, all enveloping perfectly cooked rigatoni. The Carbone restaurant, established by Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and Jeff Zalaznick, has been a staple in New York’s culinary scene since its inception.

Whether you’re reminiscing about a meal at Carbone’s or simply craving an authentic Italian pasta dish, this recipe is your ticket to a culinary journey. With straightforward ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, you’re set to bring a piece of Italy to your dining table.

Master the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni Recipe at Home!
Master the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni Recipe at Home!

Craving Italian? Our Carbone spicy rigatoni recipe brings the classic taste of Carbone's kitchen to your table. Simple, delicious, unforgettable.

Type: Main Course

Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Carbone Spicy Rigatoni

Recipe Yield: 1 Plate

Calories: 650

Preparation Time: PT15M

Cooking Time: PT25M

Total Time: PT40M

Recipe Video Name: Carbone's Spicy Rigatoni (an easy copycat recipe)

Recipe Video Description: This spicy rigatoni vodka is a copycat version of Carbone Restaurant's popular spicy pasta dish. It has tender pasta covered in a rich and creamy vodka sauce. This creamy rigatoni can be made in under 30 minutes, so it’s perfect for a quick and exciting homemade meal.

Recipe Video Thumbnail:

Recipe Ingredients:

  • Rigatoni Pasta
  • Olive Oil
  • White Onion (finely diced)
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper
  • Calabrian Chilis or Chili Paste
  • Garlic (minced)
  • Vodka or its Alternatives
  • Tomato Paste or Crushed Tomatoes
  • Heavy Cream
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Parmesan Cheese

Recipe Instructions:

Onion Sauté:

Start by heating the olive oil in your large skillet. Once hot, add the finely diced white onion. Sauté until the onions are translucent and slightly golden, setting the aromatic base for your sauce.

Master the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni Recipe at Home!

Spice It Up:

Introduce the minced garlic and Calabrian chilis or chili paste to the skillet. Stir well, allowing the spicy and aromatic flavors to meld with the onions.

Master the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni Recipe at Home!

Vodka Time:

Pour in the vodka or its chosen alternative. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes, reducing slightly and letting the alcohol evaporate.

Master the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni Recipe at Home!

Tomato Base:

Add the tomato paste or crushed tomatoes to the skillet. Mix well, ensuring the tomato blends seamlessly with the other ingredients.

Master the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni Recipe at Home!

Creamy Transformation:

Slowly pour in the heavy cream while continuously stirring. This step transforms the sauce, giving it a creamy, velvety texture.

Master the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni Recipe at Home!

Rigatoni Boil:

In your pasta pot, boil the rigatoni until al dente. Remember, you want the pasta to have a slight bite to it, ensuring it holds up well when mixed with the sauce.

Master the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni Recipe at Home!

Combine and Serve:

Drain the cooked rigatoni and add it to the skillet with the sauce. Mix well, ensuring every piece of pasta is generously coated. Transfer to a pasta bowl, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and enjoy!

Master the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni Recipe at Home!

Editor's Rating:


  • Authentic Flavor: This recipe captures the genuine taste of Carbone’s signature dish, allowing you to experience a piece of Italy from your kitchen.
  • Versatile: While the spicy kick is a highlight, the recipe can be easily adjusted to suit milder palates or incorporate available ingredients.
  • Perfect for Occasions: Whether it’s a regular weeknight dinner or a special gathering, this dish fits the bill, impressing both family and guests.
  • Easy to Follow: With clear step-by-step instructions and common ingredients, even those new to cooking can master this dish.
  • Nutritional Value: Apart from being delicious, the dish offers a balanced nutritional profile, making it a wholesome choice.


  • Ingredient Availability: Some ingredients, especially Calabrian chilis, might be hard to find in certain regions or local stores.
  • Spice Level: The dish’s inherent spiciness might not be to everyone’s liking, especially those who prefer milder flavors.
  • Preparation Time: While the recipe is straightforward, it does require a bit of prep and cooking time, which might not be ideal for those seeking quick meals.
  • Caloric Content: Though flavorful and rich, those watching their calorie intake might find the dish a tad indulgent.
  • Requires Specific Equipment: To achieve the best results, specific kitchen equipment like a large skillet and pasta pot are essential, which not everyone might have on hand.

Equipment Needed

To recreate the authentic Carbone Spicy Rigatoni at home, having the right equipment is crucial. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Large Skillet: This is essential for sautéing the onions and garlic to perfection, ensuring they release their full flavor into the sauce.
  • Pasta Pot: A good-sized pot will allow the rigatoni to cook evenly without sticking together. Remember, the pasta is the star of this dish, so it’s vital to get it just right!
  • Strainer: Once the rigatoni is cooked to al dente perfection, you’ll need a strainer to drain it. This ensures that your pasta isn’t waterlogged, which could dilute the rich flavors of the vodka sauce.
  • Mixing Spoon: As the Calabrian chilis, tomato paste, and heavy cream come together, a sturdy mixing spoon will help you blend these ingredients seamlessly, creating that creamy, spicy sauce we all love.
  • Pasta Bowl: Finally, once everything’s ready, you’ll need a pasta bowl to serve your dish. After all, presentation is key!


The magic of the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni lies in its blend of simple yet flavorful ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to bring this iconic dish to life:

  • Rigatoni Pasta: The backbone of this dish, rigatoni’s large, tubular shape holds onto the sauce beautifully, ensuring every bite is flavorful.
  • Olive Oil: A staple in Italian cooking, it provides a smooth base for sautéing and brings out the rich flavors of other ingredients.
  • White Onion (finely diced): When sautéed, these onions add a sweet depth to the sauce, balancing the spicy kick of the chilis.
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper: Essential for seasoning, they enhance the natural flavors of the ingredients.
  • Calabrian Chilis or Chili Paste: The star ingredient that gives the dish its signature spicy kick.
  • Garlic (minced): An aromatic must-have that infuses the sauce with its distinct flavor.
  • Vodka or its Alternatives: The key to our creamy vodka sauce. It adds depth and a slight tang to the dish.
  • Tomato Paste or Crushed Tomatoes: They provide a rich tomato base, essential for the sauce’s body and color.
  • Heavy Cream: It brings a velvety smoothness to the sauce, complementing the spicy notes.
  • Unsalted Butter: Adds richness and helps in binding the sauce together.
  • Parmesan Cheese: The finishing touch, it’s sprinkled on top for an added layer of flavor and texture.

Time Required

Crafting the perfect Carbone Spicy Rigatoni requires patience and precision. Here’s a breakdown of the time you’ll need:

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes. This includes dicing the onions, mincing the garlic, and getting all your ingredients ready for the cooking process.
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes. From sautéing the onions to simmering the sauce and boiling the rigatoni, this is the time it’ll take to bring everything together.
  • Rest Time: 5 minutes. After cooking, it’s essential to let the dish sit for a bit. This allows the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken slightly, ensuring every bite is perfect.
  • Total Time: 45 minutes. In less than an hour, you’ll have a dish that transports you straight to Carbone’s dining room, all from the comfort of your kitchen.

Estimated Nutrition Values

Indulging in the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni is not just a treat for the taste buds but also provides a range of nutrients. Here’s a general breakdown of the nutrition you can expect from a serving of this dish:

(Note: These are approximate values. For precise nutritional information, always consult with a nutritionist or use specific measurement tools.)

  • Serving Size: 1 plate
  • Calories: 650 kcal
  • Total Fat: 25g
    • Saturated Fat: 12g
    • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g
  • Sodium: 750mg
  • Potassium: 400mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 80g
    • Dietary Fiber: 4g
    • Sugars: 6g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Vitamin A: 15% of Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin C: 20% DV
  • Calcium: 18% DV
  • Iron: 15% DV


Dive into the world of authentic Italian flavors with the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni recipe. This main course dish, inspired by the renowned Carbone restaurant, boasts a harmonious blend of spicy Calabrian chilis and a velvety vodka sauce. With the right equipment, including a large skillet and pasta pot, and a selection of ingredients like caramelized onions, Parmesan, and tomato paste, you’re set to recreate this culinary masterpiece.

Follow our step-by-step instructions, ensuring your rigatoni is al dente and the sauce is rich and creamy. Nutrition-wise, this dish offers a balanced profile, from essential vitamins to proteins. Got questions? Our FAQ section covers everything from vodka alternatives like white wine and gin to the perfect cheese garnish.

And if you’re curious about how this dish fares, our review gives it a solid 4.5 out of 5 for its authentic taste and rich texture. While there are numerous pros, like its versatility and perfect fit for occasions, sourcing some ingredients might be a slight challenge. All in all, the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni is a culinary journey worth embarking on, promising a delightful dining experience with every bite.

Common FAQs

When diving into the Carbone Spicy Rigatoni recipe, several questions might arise. Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers:

How Much is the Spicy Rigatoni at Carbone?

The Spicy Rigatoni at Carbone typically costs $32 per serving.

Can I substitute the vodka in the recipe?

Absolutely! If you prefer not to use vodka, you can replace it with chicken or vegetable stock to maintain the sauce’s depth and flavor.

What can I use if I can’t find Calabrian chilis?

If Calabrian chilis are unavailable, you can opt for red pepper flakes or a combination of cayenne pepper to achieve a similar spicy kick.

For those interested in experiencing the original Carbone Spicy Rigatoni or exploring more about the restaurant’s legacy, visit their official website or learn more about their history and impact.

Other Recipes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *