Pasta

Pasta alla Boscaiola (Sausage & Mushroom)

November 23, 2020 by Emily

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Pasta alla Boscaiola – a super easy pasta recipe made with a rich and creamy sausage and mushroom sauce. It’s quick, comforting, and super delicious!

Pasta alla Boscaiola literally translates as pasta woodland style and much like Chicken Cacciatore there are countless variations of it!

It’s a seasonal Autumn dish so the most important ingredient is of course, mushrooms (it wouldn’t be Boscaiola without the mushrooms).

Other than that there are so many varying ingredients although they should always give you an Autumn feel whether it’s a tomato or cream-based sauce, made with pancetta, sausage, or no meat at all.

I love to make a simple creamy sausage and mushroom sauce for my Boscaiola. Salty Italian sausages with earthy mushrooms in a creamy and comforting sauce. It’s perfect for curling up on the sofa with a glass of vino!

Ingredients – what you need

The ingredients are super simple all you need is; penne pasta (or your pasta of choice), crimini mushrooms (chestnut UK), Italian sausages (I love to use fennel Italian sausages), Parmigiano Reggiano (freshly grated makes all the difference), heavy cream, shallot and fresh parsley.

See the photo below that shows all the ingredients you need!

How to make Pasta alla Boscaiola – step by step

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet, once hot add the finely chopped shallot and saute for 1-2 minutes until softened (photo 1).

Step by step photos showing how to saute shallot, mushrooms and sausage

Add the sliced mushrooms and fry until softened (3-4 minutes). Next, add the Italian sausages removed from their casing and cook until browned (photos 2-4).

Add the cream, Parmigiano Reggiano, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir then simmer gently for a few minutes until thickened slightly (photos 5 & 6).

Step by step photos showing how to make pasta alla Boscaiola

Add the cooked pasta with a splash of reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed. Add the parsley, toss to combine then serve with more pepper and parmesan (photos 7 & 8).

Top tips and recipes FAQs

  • Mushrooms – you can pretty much use any mushrooms you like for this recipe. I like to use Crimini or chestnut mushrooms because they’re easy to find and have a lovely nutty flavour.
  • Sausages – Italian sausages are usually very well seasoned with red wine and fennel which I love but any regular good-quality sausages will work as long as they aren’t spicy.
  • Garlic – there is no garlic in this recipe (I’ve never come across a Boscaiola sauce with garlic added) but feel free to add it when cooking the mushrooms if you prefer.
  • Reserve pasta water – this is an important tip to remember for every pasta dish but especially cream-based sauces which tend to dry up very quickly. Add a splash of reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce and add extra flavour.
  • Variations – you can opt for a tomato-based sauce instead of cream, some recipes add in olives or other vegetables, and instead of sausage, you could add pancetta or guanciale.
How long will leftovers last?

Because the Boscaiola sauce is cream based it’s best served immediately. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days and reheated. When reheating you’ll need to add a splash of water or cream to loosen the sauce.

Can I freeze this?

I don’t recommend freezing this pasta as dairy tends to split once frozen and will lose it’s delicious creamy texture.

More pasta recipes you might like

If you’ve tried this Pasta alla Boscaiola or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!

Pasta alla Boscaiola

Pasta alla Boscaiola – a super easy pasta recipe made with a rich and creamy sausage and mushroom sauce. It's quick, comforting, and super delicious!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 742kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 4 cups penne pasta (400g)
  • 1 shallot , finely chopped
  • 3 cups crimini mushrooms (chestnut UK) , sliced (180g)
  • 2 Italian sausages
  • ¾ cup heavy cream (150ml)
  • ½ Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated (25g)
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions until al dente.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet, once hot add the finely chopped shallot and saute for 1-2 minutes until softened.
  • Add the sliced mushrooms and fry until softened (3-4 minutes). Next, add the Italian sausages removed from their casing and cook until browned.
  • Add the cream, Parmigiano Reggiano and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir then simmer gently for a few minutes until thickened slightly.
  • Add the cooked pasta with a splash of reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed. Add the parsley, toss to combine then serve with more pepper and parmesan.

Notes

  • Mushrooms – you can pretty much use any mushrooms you like for this recipe. I like to use Crimini or chestnut mushrooms because they’re easy to find and have a lovely nutty flavour.
  • Sausages – Italian sausages are usually very well seasoned with red wine and fennel which I love but any regular good-quality sausages will work as long as they aren’t spicy.
  • Garlic – there is no garlic in this recipe (I’ve never come across a Boscaiola sauce with garlic added) but feel free to add it when cooking the mushrooms if you prefer.
  • Reserve pasta water – this is an important tip to remember for every pasta dish but especially cream-based sauces which tend to dry up very quickly. Add a splash of reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce and add extra flavour.
  • Variations – you can opt for a tomato-based sauce instead of cream, some recipes add in olives or other vegetables, and instead of sausage, you could add pancetta or guanciale.

Nutrition

Calories: 742kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 436mg | Potassium: 656mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 572IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We’d love you see what you’re getting up to in the kitchen!

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