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A hearty warm dish that’s perfect for warming up on a cold winter night

Chef Bo Byrne shares his recipe for Rigatoni ala Vodka Sauce.

PORTLAND, Maine — Chef Bo Byrne is the owner and operator of the T.O.P. Dog, a hotdog cart often set up in downtown Portland and is also an instructor at Southern Maine Community College’s culinary program.  

He joined the 207 crew to share recipes for hearty meals that are perfect for a cold winter night.


  • 5 Strips Bacon, diced
  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • 1 fl oz Vodka
  • 1 fl oz Brandy
  • 12 oz Marinara Sauce ( recipe below )
  • 3 oz Heavy Cream
  • 1/2# Rigatoni, cooked
  • 2T Parmesan, grated
  • 2T Basil, ripped
  • 5T Ricotta Cheese Dots

Marinara Sauce:

  • 3T Olive oil
  • 2ea Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch Basil
  • 30 oz Plum Tomato, whole
  • 1/2 can water
  • To Taste salt and pepper


  • Render Bacon until crispy. Reserve Bacon Fat for future use.
  • Add Onions to Bacon and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Deglaze with Alcohol, cook off for 30 seconds.
  • Add Tomato Sauce and allow to bubble.
  • Add Heavy Cream and reduce for 5 minutes.
  • Add Cooked Rigatoni and cook for 2-3 minutes or until coated. Pasta should be cooked al dente so that it doesn’t overcook in the sauce.
  • Plate with Ricotta Cheese Dots and Basil on top.

Marinara Sauce Directions:

  • Heat oil and sauté Garlic for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add Basil and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add Tomato and Water and cook for 17 minutes.
  • Purée smooth or leave chunky if desired

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