Pasta is one of my favourite types of meals; they are generally quick and easy and there are so many different recipes! This boscaiola, an Italian hunters style pasta, includes so many of my pasta favourites including mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes, cream and cheese, all in one dish! I like to start this recipe out by reconstituting dried porcini mushrooms, which are just paced with flavour. Pancetta (or bacon) is cooked with sausage before setting aside and cooking the mushrooms, along with onions, garlic and thyme. The body of the sauce is made with tomatoes to which cream and parmesan are added. Cooking all of the ingredients takes a bit longer than many pasta recipes but the combination of the flavours is simply amazing, well worth the effort! Although, it really only takes about 45 minutes to make this dish, so it’s perfect for busy work nights and it’s sure to impress any dinner guests!
Pasta alla Boscaiola
An Italian style hunter’s pasta with pancetta, sausage, mushrooms, tomato and cream! Yum!
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (optional)
- 8 ounces pasta (such as rigatoni) (gluten-free for gluten-free)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounces pancetta (or bacon), cut into matchsticks
- 12 ounces Italian sausage, cases removed
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1/2 cup white wine (or broth) (optional)
- 1 (15 oz) can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
- 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan cheese), grated
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Soak the dried mushrooms in 1/2 cup of just boiled water until tender, before removing from the water and chopping, reserving the water.
- Meanwhile, start cooking the pasta as directed on the package, before draining.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan, add the pancetta and sausage and cook, breaking the sausage apart as it cooks, before setting aside and reserving the oil and grease in the pan.
- Add the onion and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have released their liquids and it has cooked off, about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the garlic, thyme, and chopped, reconstituted, mushrooms, and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the wine and deglaze the pan by scraping up the brown bits off of the bottom of the pan as the wine sizzles.
- Add the tomatoes, the reserved mushroom water, pancetta and sausage, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes before turning off the heat.
- Add the cream and parmesan, mix and let the cheese melt.
- Mix in the pasta and parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste before enjoying!
Option: Use rosemary instead of thyme.
Option: Add red pepper flakes along with the garlic and thyme for some heat.
Option: Reserve some of the water that the pasta was cooked in and add it to the sauce if required.
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