Easy Rigatoni with Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce

Cooking for a Crowd, Recipes, Weekend Cooking, Worknight Dinners
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When in need to make a quick and elegant dinner for guests, this creamy, spicy rigatoni paired with VOVETI prosecco is perfect for everyday pairing or chic entertaining with friends.

When was freelancing five years ago, I took a part time waitressing job at a casual French restaurant to bring in some income while I worked on building up my client base. Though all of the servers received a pretty comprehensive wine training, we were by no means master sommeliers. In training, we learned a lot about which wine varieties pair best with different flavors,  but that if we didn’t know the answer to a guest’s question about wine, there was one statement we could always resort to: sparkling wine pairs with everything. 

Even though my career in food service lasted so long you could have blinked and missed it, I learned an important lesson: certain wines really do pair well with anything on your plate and  VOVETI,  a high quality, craft prosecco made in small batches (only 15,000 cases are produced annually) is one of those wines.  VOVETI is a collaborative effort between the Collavini family and the Ferrer family; each family brings 4 generations of sparkling wine expertise to the table.

Bottle Shot - beauty

As with most prosecco, VOVETI pairs well with just about anything, from light tapas or snacks to a hearty main course. Crafted from 100% Prosecco grapes, VOVETI is a brut DOC Prosecco with tempered acidity and a fresh, graceful profile. VOVETI delivers fine persistent bubbles, as well as flavors of green apple, melon and ripe peach that invite a second glass. Pair it with antipasti like prosciutto-wrapped melon, a charcuterie boad, sushi and sashimi, or main dishes like Thai or Indian curry”Serve prosecco alongside your favorite snacks for a simple evening or afternoon of relaxation — there’s no better way to unwind on a Friday night after a long week of work than with good friends or loved ones, a bottle of wine and some delicious savory snacks. VOVETI is perfect alongside a simple cheese spread, roasted red pepper bruschetta, olives and sesame seed crackers.

Prosecco + a Seasonal Salad

curried couscous

If your goal is to make it through the holiday season without an extra ten pounds, pair a light and refreshing glass of VOVETI with your favorite seasonal salad. Right now I’m obsessed with this curried pearled couscous salad with cranberries and pecans, a riff off of a similar salad served at the Whole Foods salad bar. If you’re hosting a brunch, this could be a fun and expected side dish and as a bonus, an acceptable excuse to drink prosecco before noon.

Prosecco + Pasta


The moment you’ve all been waiting for, right? Even though prosecco is nice with lighter foods, it also complements rich, hearty, stick-to-your ribs meals by providing a nice balance in flavors. I’ve always told people I love to cook pasta, but the truth isn’t that I love boiling noodles. I love to make the complex and interesting sauces that accompany them. This spicy tomato cream sauce is one that is easy to pull together on a weeknight or elegant enough to serve to company. The fact that it complements VOVETI prosecco so well is icing on the cake.


Easy Rigatoni with Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce
Recipe type: Cooking for a Crowd, Weekend Cooking, Worknight Dinners
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 (16 ounce) box of dry, uncooked rigatoni
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken tenders, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic – minced (I used about 6-7 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups Alfredo sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • 2 cups marinara sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 lb rigatoni noodles cooked al dente
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Fresh parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Pinch of fresh basil, for garnish
  1. Cook pasta to al dente, according to the package directions.
  2. Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper until garlic becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the cubed/diced chicken breast and cook until chicken cooked through (165 degrees F), about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Add in marinara sauce and stir. Repeat with the Alfredo sauce and let the sauces simmer together over low heat for about 20 minutes.
  4. To add creaminess and depth of flavor, stir two tablespoons of butter into the sauce. Stir until the butter melts and add 1 cup of peas, fresh or frozen.
  5. Combine the chicken and sauce with cooked pasta and toss until pasta is coated liberally.
  6. Garnish with fresh parmesan cheese and a handful of chopped basil, if desired.

Not a pasta person?

Here are three other dishes that pair perfectly with VOVETI prosecco:

pears with brie and prosciutto

Photo: Leigh Loftus

Pears with Brie & Prosciutto

how to assemble charcuterie

Photo: Leigh Loftus

Italian Charcuterie Board

foil packet salmon

Photo: Leigh Loftus

Foil Packet Salmon with Lemon & Capers

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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