Pasta alla Norcina; sausage pasta recipe from Umbria

pasta alla norcina

Pasta alla Norcina; sausage pasta recipe from Umbria

Pasta alla Norcina con tartufo

Pasta alla norcina is a typical recipe from Umbria; specifically the ancient town of Norcia, famous for its sausages and cured meats. There are actually two versions of pasta alla norcina. This one is made with Norcia sausage crumbled into a pan with oil and onion, fresh cream, truffle and pecorino. This is a very simple recipe with few ingredients but so flavourful and creamy you’ll want to make it part of your regular pasta menu.

(scroll down for recipe)

pasta alla norcina

The other version of pasta alla norcina is usually made with long pasta like spaghetti or tagliatelle, which is dressed with only black truffles, garlic and anchovies, to which you can also add foraged mushrooms. I’m looking forward to giving that version a try soon. But for now let’s talk about this one! 

ingredient for pasta alla norcina on white plate

Norcia; a little town with a big culinary reputation!

Umbria is well-known for its pork, hams, sausages, and other cured meats. The best of these come from Norcia. This town has become so famous for its method of pork butchery and preparation of cured meats, that butchers across Italy now use the term ‘norcino’ to refer to all kinds of meat preserved in the ‘Norcia’ way and the name ‘norcineria’ is used for butchers that specialize in preparing, curing and selling pork products.

crumbled sausage and chopped onion in frying pan

Norcia is also famous for black truffles. In fact, the truffles found around Norcia are highly prized and considered a gastronomic gem. Every year at the end of February or beginning of March, there is an important Italian Black Truffle fair in the town. Visitors to the fair can taste all the gastronomic specialties of Umbria cuisine, and especially those with truffle, of course. These specialties include cured meat and cheese seasoned with truffles, as well as pasta dishes like this pasta alla norcina.

pouring wine into browned sausage meat in frying pan

The Pasta.

This recipe is usually prepared with short pasta such as penne or rigatoni. I used Italian maccheroni made by La Molisana but you can also use any short pasta of your choice.

sausage meat and cream pasta sauce cooking in frying pan

Other types of sausage.

Of course, finding Norcia sausages isn’t easy outside of Italy. So, you can use any good quality Italian pork sausage. The dish will still taste fabulous. I would try to find sausage without fennel but with garlic if possible, or rosemary. The same goes for black truffle. Rather than use truffle oil, it’s probably better to leave the truffle out. Even in Umbria, this dish is often served without truffle when they’re not available or out of season. I used frozen truffles as I’m lucky enough to source truffles from the area I live in and often freeze them for later use!

Italian maccheroni and sausage and cream pasta sauce alla norcina in frying pan

Other ingredients.

Apart from the sausage and truffles (if using them), this recipe has very few ingredients. All you need is some fresh cream, grated pecorino, white wine and onion. The sauce doesn’t take long, so you can prepare it while boiling the water for, and cooking, the pasta. All in all not much work for a totally yummy plate of pasta that I’m sure will become a firm favourite before you’ve even finished the bowl! 

pasta alla norcina

If you make this recipe I’d love to hear how it turns out and if you liked it. Please leave a comment here on the blog or on The Pasta Project Facebook page. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Buon appetito!

pasta alla norcina

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5 from 18 votes
pasta alla norcina
Pasta alla Norcina; sausage pasta recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins

This sausage and cream pasta recipe is a very simple to make and has very few ingredients but it's so flavourful and creamy you’ll want to make it part of your regular pasta menu. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Central Italy, Italian, Umbria
Keyword: Italian food, pasta, sausage, sausage pasta, truffles
Servings: 4
Author: Jacqueline De Bono
  • 400g penne or other short pasta
  • 2-3 Italian pork sausages
  • 1 onion white or yellow
  • 1-2 black truffles I used 2 small ones (optional)
  • 200 ml fresh cream
  • 1/2 glass white wine
  • 50 g pecorino cheese grated
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt for pasta and to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  1. Remove the casing from the sausages and crumble the meat filling. Peel and chop the onion finely.

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta, add salt and bring to the boil again.

  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan or skillet over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it starts to soften then add the crumbled sausage meat.

  4. Brown the sausage, while stirring with a wooden spatula to prevent it from sticking. Pour in the wine. Allow the alcohol to evaporate while stirring. Lower the heat, cover, and finish cooking the sausage in its own juices for 10 minutes

  5. Uncover, taste and season with salt and pepper as required. Pour in the cream and bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. Add a few truffle shavings (if using) and half the pecorino. Reduce the sauce for 3–4 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover and set aside.

  6. Cook the pasta in the salted boiling water until al dente according to the instructions on the packet. Save some of the pasta cooking water and drain the pasta. Add it to the pan with the sausage and cream sauce.

  7. Over a low heat, mix the pasta and sauce together– you can add a little pasta cooking water if it seems too thick

  8. Serve immediately with a generous sprinkling of grated pecorino, some freshly ground black pepper and truffle shavings .

Recipe Notes

Traditionally this recipe is served with short pasta such as penne or rigatoni. I used Italian maccheroni. 

The original recipe made with Norcia sausage but a good Italian pork sausage would work well too. I would try to find sausage without fennel but with garlic if possible, or rosemary.

Black truffles are often added when they are in season but this dish is often made without. Truffle oil isn't a good substitute in this recipe as it will smother the other flavours.

If you like pasta with sausage you might enjoy these other recipes..

  1. Tagliolini pasta alla Langarola with sausage, chicken liver and porcini ragu
  2. Bigoli pasta with Luganega sausage
  3. Sardinian Gnocchi –Malloreddus  with sausage, tomatoes and saffron alla Campidanese
  4. Gramigna with sausage from Bologna
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pasta alla norcina


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  • Marlynn | Urban Bliss Life
    January 28, 2019 9:33 pm

    Such a beautiful pasta dish! Truffles really elevate any dish, and I bet the flavors go so wonderfully together in this dish.

    • Jacqui
      January 31, 2019 11:35 am

      Grazie Marlynn! Yes this pasta recipe is pretty special! The truffles add such a wonderful flavour!

  • Neli Howard
    January 28, 2019 8:56 pm

    I just happen to have these ingredients so am going to make it tonight for dinner – – if I can wait that long!

    • Jacqui
      January 31, 2019 11:34 am

      haha Neli! This will be worth waiting for! Buon appetito!

  • Kelly Anthony
    January 28, 2019 8:46 pm

    This pasta alla norcina sausage pasta looks simply delicious. You had me at truffles, white wine and pecorino.

    • Jacqui
      January 31, 2019 11:34 am

      Thanks so much Kelly! Truffles are such a special food. I feel blessed to be living in a place where they are easily available! Of course this recipe can be made without them too!

  • Amanda
    January 28, 2019 7:25 pm

    I love that you used truffles in this dish! Truffles are definitely one of my favorite flavors. Really looking forward to making this soon.

    • Jacqui
      January 31, 2019 11:32 am

      I’m happy you like and want to make this recipe Amanda! I also love truffles. They have such a wonderful earthy and umami flavour!

  • Cliona Keane
    January 28, 2019 7:04 pm

    I love the look of this! Creamy, comforting…delicious! Thanks for all of the process shots too, it’ll definitely help when making it!

    • Jacqui
      January 31, 2019 11:30 am

      Thank you Cliona! This is a really tasty recipe. I’m sure you’ll love it if you make it! I think process shots are very helpful. I know I like to follow recipes with step by step photos!

  • Kathryn R
    September 3, 2018 1:40 am

    Si, e squisita! This is absolutely delicious. Hubby wants it in the meal rotation permanently. Thanks for the info about Norcia, as well.

    • Jacqui
      September 3, 2018 10:46 am

      So happy you like this recipe Kathryn! It’s a favourite of my hubby too! I haven’t been to Norcia but am hoping to go there soon! It’s definitely a great place for foodies to visit!

  • Stephanie Simmons
    July 23, 2018 8:35 pm

    This is my kind of pasta recipe! Yum! Can’t wait to try 🙂

    • Jacqui
      January 28, 2019 5:13 pm

      I’m sure you will love it, Stephanie!

  • Chef Mireille
    July 23, 2018 7:46 pm

    a few simple ingredients makes the perfect comfort food – I would love to enjoy this on a cold winter night

    • Jacqui
      January 28, 2019 5:14 pm

      This perfect winter comfort food, Mireille!

  • Kathy
    July 23, 2018 2:10 pm

    This pasta looks mouthwatering! Can’t wait to give this a try!

    • Jacqui
      January 28, 2019 5:15 pm

      Thank you Kathy! Yes this is a fabulously delicious dish, with or without truffles.

  • Mirlene
    July 23, 2018 6:06 am

    Love 30 minute meals!! Pasta looks delicious.

    • Jacqui
      January 28, 2019 5:16 pm

      Thanks Mirlene! There are many fast but delicious pasta recipes here in Italy. I guess it’s the quality and flavour of the ingredients that make them so good!

  • Tiffany Alexandria
    July 22, 2018 6:13 am

    I’ve just had pasta for dinner but this is making me hungry again. This is such a awesome project and this pasta looks SO DELICIOUS!!!! I hope I can find some good, tasty sausage and make this tomorrow. Thanks

    • Jacqui
      January 28, 2019 5:17 pm

      Thanks so much Tiffany! I’m thrilled you like my project! I’m sure you’ll love this dish!

  • Kelly Anthony
    July 21, 2018 9:25 pm

    Loving all those wonderful process shots! Also loving pasta alla norcina! Looks so savory!

    • Jacqui
      January 28, 2019 5:18 pm

      Thanks so much Kelly. I like using process shots. It help visitors have a better idea of what goes into making a dish!

  • Lisa
    July 21, 2018 8:10 pm

    This look so good! And the sausage- yum!

    • Jacqui
      January 28, 2019 5:19 pm

      Thanks Lisa! Sausage is such a great ingredient for pasta recipes!

  • Samantha H.
    July 21, 2018 3:49 pm

    This looks so rustic and delicious! I would love to give this a try, I love sausage in pasta, it just adds so much flavor.

    • Jacqui
      January 28, 2019 5:20 pm

      Grazie Samantha! I agree sausage adds so much flavour to pasta sauces!

  • mydeliciousmeals
    July 21, 2018 3:42 am

    Another great pasta recipe!! Love the addition of pork sausage. Thank you for all the information you share with us!

    • Jacqui
      January 28, 2019 5:21 pm

      Thank you!! So happy you like the bits of info I add to my posts. I think it’s great to know more about where recipes come from!

  • Stine Mari
    July 20, 2018 7:33 am

    I have never really tasted black truffles before, but I think this dish looks very comforting and delicious!

    • Jacqui
      January 28, 2019 5:22 pm

      Black truffles have an amazing earthy umami flavour. I’m sure you’d love them Stine!

  • sondria Harp
    July 20, 2018 3:48 am

    This sounds and looks really good. I can’t wait to try it.

    • Jacqui
      January 28, 2019 5:23 pm

      Thanks so much Sondria! Yes this is a very tasty dish. I’m sure you’ll love it!

  • Gloria
    July 19, 2018 9:39 pm

    The pasta lover in me….loves everything about this recipe. You can never go wrong with simple and delicious pasta dish any night of the week. Sausage is such a great combination….and of course you cannot have pasta with cooking and drinking wine!!

    • Jacqui
      January 28, 2019 5:24 pm

      Thank you dear Gloria! Many pasta recipes are pretty simple but so delicious. This is definitely like that!

  • Jere Cassidy
    July 19, 2018 5:40 pm

    I love sausage. This pasta dish just looks delicious. I love that you share so much of the culture behind your pasta dishes.

    • Jacqui
      January 28, 2019 5:26 pm

      Grazie cara Jere! This is a fab recipe! I’m happy you like the info about where the recipe comes from too!

  • Helena
    July 12, 2018 6:13 pm

    I wonder what would be the taste of this pasta if it was dressed with black truffles only? I guess I will need to come to Norcia in February to find out 🙂

    • Jacqui
      January 28, 2019 5:27 pm

      You can find another recipe called alla Norcina in Norcia which is made just with the truffles! I hope you’ll get to try it if you go to Norcia!

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