Pasta alla Norcina with Duck & Bacon Sausage

By: Sam Kohler

Pasta alla Norcina is a delicious pasta recipe that comes from the small town of Norcia in Central Italy. This town bares less than 5,000 residents, but interestingly enough is one of the oldest towns in the world that still holds a living population. Norcia was officially founded in the 5th Century BC, but traces of human civilizations date back all the way to the end of the stone age, 5,000 BC. Steeped in history, Norcia has historically been a popular destination for hunting wild boar and was known as a major pork producer beginning in the 12th Century AD. Pasta alla Norcina is a recipe that pays homage to the rich history of pork farming and wild boar hunting with a simple list of ingredients that blossom in flavor. For this recipe, I decided to make a change to the traditional pork sausage by using the GameKeeper Butchery Duck and Bacon Sausage, but if you want to follow this recipe more traditionally I highly recommend using the GameKeeper Butchery Wild Boar Italian Sausage to get the most authentic flavor.

Ingredients

  • 4 GameKeeper Butchery Duck & Bacon Sausage Links; Decased
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion; Finely Diced
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic; Thoroughly Smashed
  • 8 oz of Baby Bell Mushrooms; Finely Diced
  • 16 oz of Rigatoni Pasta
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 3/4 Cup of Pecorino Romano Cheese
  • 1/2 Bunch of Italian Parsley; Finely Chopped
  • 1/8 Tsp. Nutmeg
  • Black Pepper and Salt to Taste
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Red Pepper Flakes

Instructions

  1. Begin by filling a pot 3/4th full of water and set the stove to high heat. Add a couple tablespoons of salt to the water as well.
  2. As the water begins to heat up, take a pan and set it on medium heat. Add olive oil to the pan and brown the decased duck sausage for roughly 5 minutes.
  3. Once the sausage is browned, add your mushrooms and let the mixture cook for 2-4 minutes until the mushrooms begin to become tender.
  4. Next, add your onions to the mixture and thoroughly mix them in with the sausage and mushrooms. Using a spatula, push a small opening into the pan and add your garlic and let it cook for 1-2 minutes in the pan and then remove the garlic from the pan. (Its not a big deal if you decide to just dice the garlic and add it into the pasta sauce, but the garlic flavor will be a lot stronger in the sauce.)
  5. Next, take your half cup of white wine and add it to the pan, let it reduce to about half and let the alcohol cook off before moving on to the next step.
  6. Add your cup and a half of heavy cream to the pan and bring it to a light boil. Once the sauce is bubbling reduce the heat to low and/or simmer.
  7. At this point take your pasta once it has cooked to al dente and add it to the sauce to finish the pasta’s cooking process.
  8. To finish off the pasta, add your nutmeg, parsley, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and pecorino romano and mix these ingredients with the pasta and sauce thoroughly.
  9. Finally, Plate this pasta into a bowl or plate and enjoy!

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