The Umbrian town of Norcia is famous for its pork, and it has a rich tradition of sausage- and salumi-making. So much so that butcher shops all over Italy that specialize in fresh and cured pork products like salami, prosciutti, pancetta, and guanciale are known as “norcinerie.” Located at the foot of the Sibylline Mountains, Norcia has the perfect cool and humid climate conditions for meat-curing and, in the fall, truffle hunting. These two local specialties come together in pasta alla norcina: pasta dressed in a rich and creamy sauce studded with juicy sausage, traditionally finished with a showering of shaved black truffles.
6 oz. / 150 g of sausage meat
1 small carrot, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, peeled
salt & pepper
1/2 cup / 125ml cream (panna per la cucina)
small handful of fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 lb / 500gr short pasta of your choice (penne or rigatoni work wonderful)
you can also use gnocchi, orecchietti or strozzapreti
(Optional: Shave truffles atop when in season)
Get a big pot of water going for your pasta.
With a few glugs of olive oil in a pan, throw in the garlic clove whole and gently, on very low heat sweat garlic until lightly brown. Then discard garlic.
Add chopped carrot and sweat over low heat for a minute or two.
Add in the sausage meat. Raise the heat slightly and with the back of a fork break the meat up as it cooks.
Add in the cream, lower the heat and let it reduce by half. Give it a taste and check the seasonings adjusting by adding salt and pepper if needed.
Shut off the heat until your pasta is ready. Then on low heat, bring your sauce back up.
Drain the cooked pasta from the water and place directly into pan. (Do NOT discard your pasta water).
Over low heat, mix the pasta together with the sauce and a handful of cheese, adding a little pasta water if needed. Give it a taste, adjust the seasonings if needed.
(If you are able to find truffles, shave over the top just before serving or at the table.)