Pasta alla Boscaiola (with a twist of Nduja)

In Italian, the word ‘boscaiola’ means woodsman or woodcutter. And this pasta alla boscaiola recipe is traditionally based on the most popular foraged food to be found in the woods, mushrooms.

In the fall, pasta alla boscaiola appears on the most rustic Tuscan trattoria menus. Its name implies mushrooms are a key component, and this is my father’s favourite dish and one of the most popular items in my restaurant, back home in Italy.

Some fact:

  • Boscaiola Pasta always includes mushrooms
  • But I have seen in North America to be made with chopped onions, pancetta or bacon and of course mushrooms. Also, I saw it with made it with chicken. Sadly!
  • Sometimes with peas (I will never cook with peas because I have an allergy) in either a white sauce or red sauce and of course with the mushrooms.
  • Some like to use short pasta, penne pasta or rigatoni but I again in America everything is allowed (LOL)
  • Whichever way you choose this Pasta dish is really delicious, and please, keep it traditional.


Ingredients for 4 people

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil1 clove of garlic
  • 3 tbs chopped red onion
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 3 Italian sausages (cut into pieces)
  • 2 oz red wine
  • Salt to taste
  • hot pepper flakes or pepper if desired
  • 4 cups pasta 
  • 2-3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano


In a large pan add the olive oil, garlic, onion and chopped sausage, cook approximately 5-7 minutes, then add the mushrooms, and hot pepper flakes or pepper, cook until cooked and tender (taste for salt) then add the tomato and cook until slightly thickened.

I am Calabrese and I have to make everything spicy, so I would add some Nduja to flavour and spice it up. A couple of tablespoons would be perfect for this recipe.

In salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain and add to mixture.

 Add the pasta and cook 1-2 minutes. 

Serve immediately topped with fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.  Enjoy!

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Video Recipe

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