Pasta alla Norcina • Umbria, Italy
Primal Recipes

Pasta alla Norcina • Umbria, Italy

History of the Recipe

The central Italian region of Umbria is where the traditional pasta dish known as "pasta alla Norcina" first appeared. It is believed to have come from Norcia, a small town in Umbria known for its sausages and other foods made from pork.

The dish typically features a creamy sauce made with Italian sausage, heavy cream, and grated parmesan cheese. It is often served with rigatoni or penne pasta and is known for its rich and hearty flavors.

The origins of Pasta alla Norcina are the subject of numerous theories. According to one theory, it was made by monks in the Norcia region using nearby ingredients to produce a hearty and filling dish that would sustain them throughout protracted fasts. Another theory holds that Umbrian shepherds invented the dish, cooking it in the fields with basic ingredients like sausage and pasta.

Regardless of where it came from, Pasta alla Norcina is now a well-known Italian classic that is served in homes and restaurants all over Italy and the rest of the world. It is frequently offered on menus as a hearty, decadent comfort food that is ideal for chilly winter nights or special occasions.

Ingredients (4 people)

• 1 pound fresh fettuccine or tagliatelle pasta

• 4 ounces of Norcia-style sausage (or any spicy pork sausage), crumbled

• 1 cup of heavy cream

• 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

• 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley

• 2 cloves of garlic, minced

• 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

• Salt and black pepper, to taste

Ingredients (4 people)

• Cook the pasta, preferably short pasta, until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining.

• In a large skillet, cook the crumbled sausage over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through, stirring occasionally.

• Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.

• Pour in the heavy cream and grated nutmeg, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.

• Add the grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

• Season the sauce with salt and black pepper to taste.

• Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the sauce, and spread evenly.

• Add some of the reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce if it’s too thick.

• Serve garnished with grated Parmigiano and chopped parsley.