Pasta alla Norcina (con Tartufo Nero), one of the cornerstones of Umbrian cuisine, takes its name from the Norcini, i.e. those who slaughter pigs and process their meat to obtain cured meats and sausages. Hence the name of the Norcinerie, small shops where pork is processed and sold, respecting the ancient traditions handed down over the centuries, from the town of Norcia in Umbria and the surrounding areas.
The main ingredients of this pasta are Norcia’s pork sausage and cream, which can be replaced with sheep’s milk ricotta. The addition of black truffle is in itself a variant of Pasta alla Norcina, a variant that however still maintains the Umbrian tradition. As with most Italian recipes, this one makes no exceptions as to the type of pasta used; most say short pasta is the chosen one, others prepare it strictly using long pasta, we have chosen Pappardelle.
Serve 4, Preparation 15 mins, Cooking approx. 20 mins
- Pappardelle or any type of pasta, 350/380 g
- 350 g Norcia pork sausage
- 40 g of unsalted butter
- 40 g of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 300 g cooking cream (or 250 g sheep’s Ricotta cheese and 50 ml milk)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 onion, chopped
- half a glass of dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon of EVOO – Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt, pepper, to taste
- Black truffle, partly grated and partly in flakes, to taste
Heat plenty of salted water in a pot.
Meanwhile, heat a frying pan and add 1 tablespoon of EVOO with a knob of butter, as soon as the butter has melted add the chopped onion and garlic, sautéing, grating some of the black truffle while stirring together.
Casing the sausage, chop it roughly and cook it on a high flame in the pan for a couple of minutes until it turns brown, then add the wine and let it evaporate. As soon as the meat is cooked, lower the flame, add the cream by spoonfuls and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.
As soon as the water boils, immerse the pasta and then drain it “al dente” – saving a couple of glasses of cooking water – and add it to the sausage and cream sauce, adding one or two ladles of cooking water and tossing it with the heat off, then add the grated Pecorino and black truffle flakes.
Variations: Norcina lends itself to numerous interpretations although the main ingredients remain unchanged. Variants of norcina are also with or without mushrooms, with the addition of ricotta cheese, or with or without the addition of aromatic herbs, generally rosemary, or simply, with a different pasta.