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Pasta alla boscaiola: the original recipe

Pasta Alla Boscaiola

Creamy and rich first course, boscaiola pasta is versatile and easy to customize. Here is the original recipe and the best-known variations.

When it comes to tasty pasta dishes, Italy is second to none. There are a myriad of them which have small but often substantial differences even from region to region and from country to country. Unfortunately (or fortunately) even pasta alla boscaiola does not escape these variations and it is really difficult to establish what the original recipe for preparing it is.

The only ingredient that all the recipes have in common are mushrooms . Undisputed sovereigns of the undergrowth, they make boscaiola sauce a purely autumnal dish but no one forbids you from using frozen mushrooms to be able to enjoy its goodness at any time of the year. Since it is a rustic dish , the other ingredients that compose it are commonly used: onion for sautéing, diced bacon for flavour, tomato and cream . A sprinkling of parsley gives the dish the right note of freshness and completes the flavor of the mushrooms.

However, there is no shortage of versions without cream, without tomato, with peas, with sausage instead of bacon, with champignon mushrooms instead of porcini mushrooms. In short, the more you have, the more you put it. Let's see how to prepare the traditional boscaiola sauce and its most famous variations.

Pasta Alla Boscaiola
Pasta Alla Boscaiola

How to prepare boscaiola pasta with the original recipe

  1. First , clean the mushrooms , removing any soil residue from the stem and brushing the head with a damp cloth. You can also use champignon mushrooms or other fresh or frozen mushrooms.
  2. Cut them into slices and keep them aside.
  3. Dice the bacon and brown it in a non-stick pan without adding oil. It should brown and release some of its fat.
  4. Transfer it to a plate, leaving the grease in the pan and continue with the preparation, adding two tablespoons of oil and the chopped onion . Brown it on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the sliced ​​mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes until they have wilted.
  6. In the meantime, cook the pasta in plenty of salted water for the time indicated on the package. We recommend a short, perforated format, perfect for collecting sauce, like penne.
  7. Add the tomato sauce, a pinch of salt and cook for 10 minutes until it has reduced.
  8. Add the bacon , cream and chopped parsley and leave on medium heat for another 5 minutes, just long enough for the pasta to be cooked.
  9. Once al dente, drain the latter and sauté it in the pan with the seasoning.
  10. Distribute on plates and serve, finishing with a sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano if desired.

If you liked it, how about trying all our quick first courses ?

Pasta alla boscaiola: recipes

As mentioned, there are different versions of the boscaiola recipe. Here's how the most famous ones are prepared.

  • Pasta alla boscaiola with sausage. Follow all the steps in the recipe with the only difference that instead of browning the bacon, you will brown the sausage (300 g) removed from the casing and crumbled with your hands. The cooking times do not change: when it has released its fat you can remove it and proceed with preparing the sauce.
  • Boscaiola pasta without cream. It's really a shame to omit it but for one reason or another this is also permissible. Simply, don't add it to the preparation, but if your problem is lactose intolerance you can opt for a vegetable cream.
  • Pasta alla boscaiola with peas. It can be considered a variant of the original recipe where the peas (about 200 g) are added to the pan together with the mushrooms. Also in this case the green light is available for variants without cream or with sausage.
  • Pasta alla boscaiola in white. Less known and perhaps a little more "disconnected" than the other versions, penne alla boscaiola can also be prepared without tomato sauce, simply by omitting it. This variant does not even involve the use of cream, so once the pasta has been drained it will be necessary to stir it in the pan with a little of the pasta cooking water and a knob of butter .

If you liked this recipe we recommend you also try the more classic carbonara : always delicious !


The boscaiola pasta can be kept in the refrigerator covered in cling film for a couple of days. It is also possible to store the sauce separately, in an airtight container, for up to two days. When needed, heat it in a pan and use it to season the pasta.

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