Rigatoni with Veggies in a Creamy Dairy-free Vodka Sauce

Can you guess the secret ingredient that gives the creaminess?

Rigatoni with Veggies in a Creamy Dairy-free Vodka Sauce

A classic with a healthy twist!

Rigatoni with veggies in a creamy Tomato Vodka Sauce– Gluten-free and Dairy-free.

My son’s favorite thing to order at a restaurant is pasta with vodka sauce. So we tried to recreate his favorite restaurant version at home, only healthier.

Made with tomatoes and gluten-free vodka, the sauce gets its creaminess from tofu (don’t worry if you don’t love tofu, you can’t taste it!). Plus it packs an extra punch of flavor from sun-dried tomatoes, and some extra nutrients with a handful of asparagus and arugula. My son who likes to tease gave it a 9 out of 10 but there was nothing left on his plate (wink, wink), or any of our plates for that matter!

And as with most our sauces, I made the sauce ahead of time and cooked the pasta and veggies when ready to serve.

Scroll down to see the recipe.


Rigatoni with Veggies in a Creamy Dairy-free Vodka Sauce
We make the sauce early in the day and just cook pasta and veggies when ready to serve.
Recipe type: Pasta, Dinner
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegan
Basic Tomato Vodka Sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 box strained tomatoes (we used Pomi 26.46oz)
  • 1 6 oz tomato paste (unseasoned)
  • ½ - 1 tsp crushed red pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • ½-1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 lb package silken tofu
  • ¼ cup Gluten-free Vodka (you could add up to ½ cup but my son prefers a more subtle flavor)
Add ins
  • Sundried tomatoes packed in oil, approximately 10, chopped (more or less to taste)
  • ½ bunch asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 couple handfuls of arugula (again more or less to taste)
  • 1 box or bag gluten-free pasta of choice
Basic Tomato Vodka Sauce
  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan (I use a 5 quart saute pan)
  2. Add garlic. Saute 1-2 minutes until fragrant and just starting to brown.
  3. Add tomato paste and mix well.
  4. Add strained tomatoes, crushed pepper, basil and salt.
  5. If adding Sundried tomatoes, add them to the sauce when you add the strained tomatoes.
  6. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer. (Can be as little as 5 minutes, but we prefer at least 30 minutes to allow flavor to come out).
  7. Meanwhile, in a blender, blend tofu and vodka until smooth.
  8. Add the tofu vodka mixture to the tomato sauce and let simmer for at least 30 minutes. Note, sometimes we don't add the entire amount, depending on if we want it creamier or more tomato-y
  1. When ready to eat, prepare pasta according to package instructions, removing from heat and straining water when almost done (about 1 minute before package cook time)
  2. Meanwhile add asparagus to boiling pasta water while pasta cooks and boil 2-3 minutes, until bright green and just tender. Scoop out asparagus with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add asparagus, prepared pasta and a handful or two of arugula directly to the saute pan with the sauce. Mix well and cook for about 1 minute or until arugula just wilts. Serve.


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