Rigatoni with Creamy Brandy Tomato Sauce

An indulgent bowl of rigatoni tossed in a creamy brandy tomato sauce. Simple pasta at its best. The sauce is flavored with caramelized shallots, garlic, tomato paste, brandy, oregano, black pepper, and lots of parmesan cheese. Eat it on it’s own or serve it as a side dish alongside your favorite main meal. It’s absolutely delicious, rich in flavor, and really satisfying.

Creamy Brandy Tomato Sauce

Creamy Brandy Tomato Sauce

creamy brandy tomato sauce – the details

The simple details for making this rigatoni with cream brandy tomato sauce are: start the sauce, drop the pasta, finish the sauce, toss it all together, plate it up. Truly such an easy pasta dish that’s layered with deep, rich flavor.

You’ll start with olive oil, shallots, and garlic. This is the base flavor of the sauce…all caramelized until browned and tender. Stir often when cooking this mixture so the shallots and garlic don’t burn.

The next addition is tomato paste. Here’s where all the sweet and intense tomato flavor comes in. I love using tomato paste when tomatoes aren’t quite in season to make a super flavorful tomato sauce.

Creamy Brandy Tomato Sauce

Creamy Brandy Tomato Sauce

A splash or two of brandy comes next. I was thinking a lot about making a pasta alla vodka, but thought brandy would be so much more flavorful. It’s warm, oaky flavor works really well with the tomato and cream. Simmer everything together with fresh oregano and you’ve got a bright orange-ish red cream sauce to toss with your rigatoni.

All that’s left to do is add in your pasta, a little starchy pasta water to smooth things out, and a whole cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese. You’ll want to stir really well at this point until you can see the silky-smooth sauce clinging to every single rigatoni noodle.

It’d be the perfect side dish for a seared steak or piece of fish. Add on some roasted vegetables or sauteed spinach and you’ve got yourself a complete, delicious dinner at home.

If you’re looking for more pasta recipes, here are a few favorites:

Asparagus Pasta with Whipped Ricotta & Breadcrumbs
Lemon Butter Shrimp Pasta
Roasted Red Pepper Pantry Pasta

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Rigatoni with Creamy Brandy Tomato Sauce

rigatoni with a simple, indulgent creamy brandy tomato sauce full of shallots, garlic, and parmesan cheese

servings: 4 (larger portions) – 6 (smaller side dish portions)

Ingredients

Scale
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely minced
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • kosher salt
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 1 lb rigatoni
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 large sprigs fresh oregano
  • 20 cracks fresh black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat a 4-6qt dutch oven (or heavy-bottomed pot) over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the shallots and garlic. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until caramelized and tender, stirring often. Season with a good pinch of salt. 
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another minute or so. Pour in the brandy. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. 
  4. Drop the rigatoni into the boiling water and stir well. Cook according to the package’s instructions, one minute less than listed. 
  5. Stir the cream into the sauce. Add the oregano sprigs and black pepper. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 8 minutes until slightly thickened. 
  6. Retrieve a ½ cup (plus a little extra on the side if needed) of pasta water right before draining the pasta. Add the water and pasta to the sauce. Stir well to combine. Gradually add in the parmesan cheese, stirring until it melts and the sauce clings to the pasta. (If the sauce is too loose, raise the heat to medium and continue to stir until it thickens. If it’s too thick, add in a little more pasta water.)
  7. Remove the oregano sprigs. Plate the pasta with more parmesan cheese and black pepper cracked over top.

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Creamy Brandy Tomato Sauce

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