Rigatoni a la Vodka with Sundried Tomato and Crispy Chicken




Crispy Chicken:

  • 2 medium boneless chicken breasts, approx
  • 6-8 ounces each, cut into 1⁄2 inch strips
  • 1⁄2 cup flour
  • 3 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper


  • 8 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 lb rigatoni

Vodka Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 medium shallots, finely diced
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 3 ounces vodka
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 8 oil-cured sundried tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1⁄2 cup pasta water
  • 1⁄2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 1⁄2 cup heavy cream



Preheat deep fryer (filled with canola or sunflower oil) to 350 degrees. Using three mixing bowls, put flour into the first one; beaten eggs into the second one; and breadcrumbs seasoned with salt, pepper, and basil into the third. Cooking in three batches,dredge the chicken strips in the flour first, then dip in the beaten eggs, and then coatevenly with breadcrumb mixture. Fry at 350 degrees for approx 3 min until golden brown. When done, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Fry the second and third batch, and when finished, place on a clean plate and hold in a 250 degree oven until ready to serve with the rigatoni.


In a large pot, stir salt into water and bring to a rolling boil. Cook rigatoni al denteaccording to package directions. Retain 1⁄2 cup pasta water before draining rigatoni in a colander.


In a large frying pan over medium heat melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add shallots and onions and sauté until translucent. Add chili flakes. Deglaze the pan with vodka (if cooking over open flame, remove the pan from the burner while adding the vodka), then add tomato paste and stir until well combined.

Add sundried tomatoes, 1⁄2 cup pasta water, and 1⁄4 cup grated cheese. Add heavy cream and stir until well incorporated. Add cooked rigatoni and toss until well coated. To serve, divide the vodka sauce coatedrigatoni into four large bowls and top with crispy chicken strips. Sprinkle the remaining 1⁄4 cup grated cheese over the four bowls and serve while hot.

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