Known as pasta alla boscaiola, or ‘woodman’s pasta’ in English, this dish a staple of Tuscan cuisine, the main ingredient being one of the most popular of all foraged foods to be found in the Italian countryside: mushrooms. Italians have an insatiable appetite for funghi, specifically for the porcini that sprout over the wooded hills of Piemonte, Toscana, Emilia-Romagna, Umbria as well as the rolling farmlands of Veneto. It’s these wonderful wild mushrooms that, together with smoky pancetta, tomatoes and cream, create our rich sauce which pairs perfectly with a portion of hearty, thick pasta such as pappardelle or tagliatelle.
Our creamy mushroom and bacon pasta recipe
Cooking time: 45 mins total (excluding time to make pasta)
Calories per serving: 375 kcal
Should you wish to make your pasta from scratch, you can follow along with Chef Roberta here as she takes you through the process, step by step.
- 250g of fresh fettuccine
- 300g of peeled tomatoes
- 200g of porcini mushrooms
- 200ml of cream
- 100g of smoked bacon
- 30g of black olives
- 1 onion
- 1 bunch of parsley
- extra virgin olive oil
- black pepper
- Cut the bacon into strips.
- Bring a frying pan up to medium heat. Fry the pancetta and once it begins to crisp, empty it onto a paper towel to absorb the cooking juices and set aside.
- Cut the mushrooms in half. Peel the onion and chop finely. In the same saucepan, over a medium heat, fry the mushrooms and onion together with 2 tablespoons of oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften.
- After 5 minutes, add the chopped peeled tomatoes, pitted olives, and the cream. Return the pancetta to the pan. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Peel, wash and chop the parsley. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Once bubbling, add a generous handful of salt, along with the pasta. Cook for around 3-4 minutes or until al dente.
- Add the pasta to the saucepan and mix well, ensuring that it is well coated throughout.
- Plate up your pasta and garnish with a handful of parsley and a sprinkle of pepper to taste.
What should I serve with this creamy pasta dish?
Although our recipe uses fettuccine, long and thin pasta shapes like spaghetti, linguine, and bucatini are a great alternative. Even shelled pasta like conchiglie work well, for their interiors are adept at capturing thick sauces.
Due to the presence of bacon and tomatoes in this dish, red wine is a great match. Barolo, for example, will lend itself well to this meal’s more meaty flavour and rich, salty undertones. Should you wish to forgo tomatoes in this dish, however, our chefs recommend pairing it with a white wine such as Soave, Pinot Bianco or a Sicilian white. Find out more about the perfect wine and pasta pairings here.