Penne Norcina – Italian Original Pasta

penne norcina – pastaPenne Norcina is a typical dish of Italian (Umbrian) regional cuisine and in particular of Norcia (PG) based on italian sausage and cream sauce.

The peculiarity of the Norcia sausage is that it is flavored with garlic and chilli.

The making of penne norcina is really simple and will take just the time necessary to cook the pasta.

Ingredients for 4 people
400 gr of Penne (or strangozzi according to tradition)
350 gr of Norcia sausage
1/2 White Onion
250 ml of Cream Sauce
1 Glass of Dry White Wine
Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese to taste
Truffle to taste (optional)

Let’s start immediately to cook the penne in plenty of salted water. In this case, since the sausage and pecorino cheese are rather savory, we could use a little less salt than usual when cooking the pasta.
In the meantime, let’s take care of the sausage which will be peeled, coarsely crumbled and browned for a few minutes with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, in a pan over medium heat, together with the finely chopped onion. We just have to add a grind of black pepper and deglaze with white wine, after raising the heat. As soon as the alcoholic part has evaporated, add a ladleful of pasta cooking water and let it cook for a few moments in order to give the right creamy consistency to the dish.
Now insert the cream sauce and mix everything.
When the cream begins to simmer, we can drain the penne al dente and finish cooking them by adding a little grated pecorino romano cheese at this stage. If everything is too thick, we can add a little more of the pasta cooking water.
At this point we are ready to serve our penne norcina, garnishing each dish with a further sprinkling of black pepper, pecorino romano cheese and black truffle.

Variants and Curiosities

  • In Norcia it often happens that, instead of cream sauce, a similar quantity of fresh ricotta is used and that the pecorino is replaced by parmesan.
  • Many versions provide that instead of wine, the sausage can be blended with half a glass of brandy.
  • If we do not find the Norcia sausage, we could fry a normal italian sausage in extra virgin olive oil with two chopped garlic cloves and fresh red pepper.
  • Although the original version includes penne or strangozzi, as we can see from the photo, it can also come well with fusilli and fusilloni.

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