It’s been a while since I’ve made an old-school, rustic, Italian dish – not just for the blog, either! Although unseasonably warm this year, January weather still begs for comfort food, and this checks all the right boxes. The dish originates in Norcia, a city in the central Italian region of Umbria. The region is not only known for their amazing pork products (hence the sausage), but their fabulous truffles. It is the pigs that find the truffles, so it’s natural that they go hand in hand. Now, if I could get my hands on some wonderful black truffles, I would have totally used them here. But I can’t, so I used some gorgeous oyster mushrooms instead.

This pasta was all I could think about for the next couple of days – it’s just that good. And easy to make, too!

Ingredients

5 strips Maple Leaf Bacon

4 Mild Italian Sausages

1 Small Onion

2 cloves Garlic

3 cups Oyster Mushrooms, roughly chopped

10 leaves Sage

2 sprigs Rosemary

4 sprigs Thyme

1 cup White Wine

1 cup Heavy Cream

½ cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Salt and pepper to taste

500g Farfalle Pasta (or other short noodle of your choice)

Directions

1. As we usually do, let’s start by cutting up our bacon – nice big pieces this time, though. Give those a good frying in a large pan. You can also put a pot of salted water on to boil. We don’t want to be waiting for it later.

2. As the bacon is cooking, finely chop a small onion, and roughly chop your large oyster mushrooms. If you happen to get a cluster of small mushrooms, just break them up into the individual little mushrooms with your hand. They will look nice at the end if they remain whole.

3. Grab your herbs – the sage, rosemary, and thyme – and roughly chop them up. Remember use just the leaves on the thyme and rosemary. The woody bits are quite unpalatable.

4. Grab your sausage, remove the casings, and add them to the pan once your bacon has gone crispy.

5. As the sausage continues to cook, break up the sausage meat with a fork into little pieces.

6. Once the sausage has browned, add in your mushrooms, onions and herbs. Sautee these until the mushrooms have gone soft and the onions begin to brown, then add in your garlic and sautee for another few minutes.

7. Pour in your white wine and stir everything together. Let it reduce to about half its volume, then add in your cream. Bring everything back to a simmer and let this reduce, as well. Season with salt and pepper, as necessary.

8. Right after you pour in your cream, you can begin to cook your pasta. By the time the pasta is cooked, your sauce should be at the perfect consistency.

9. Before you strain your pasta, reserve a cup of cooking water.

10. Stir your cooked pasta with the sauce and parimgiano, and use the pasta water to thin out the sauce if necessary. We’re looking to have everything glistening with a light coating of creaminess, not drenched in a liquidy mess.

11. Plate and add a few shavings of black truffle, if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one.