Easy Penne Boscaiola Recipe with Bacon and Mushrooms – Italian Style Pasta Dinner

Easy Penne Boscaiola Recipe with Bacon and Mushrooms - Italian Style Pasta Dinner

Boscaiola, meaning “woodsman-style,” perfectly captures the essence of this comforting Italian pasta. With its earthy mushrooms, smoky bacon, and velvety cream sauce, this dish transports you to a cozy cabin in the woods with every bite.

What Makes Boscaiola Special?

The star of this dish is undoubtedly the mushrooms. We use a mix of cultivated and wild varieties to create a deep, complex flavor profile. Dried porcini mushrooms add an extra layer of umami, while bacon lends a delicious smokiness reminiscent of a wood-burning fire.

Perfecting Your Mushroom Game

To elevate your Boscaiola, consider these mushroom tips:

  • Use a variety of mushrooms for depth of flavor
  • Rehydrate dried porcini in white wine for an flavor boost
  • Cook fresh mushrooms until well-browned for maximum taste

Creating the Ultimate Boscaiola Sauce

Our sauce combines the earthy mushrooms with sweet onions, aromatic garlic, and fresh thyme. A splash of white wine deglazes the pan, while crushed tomatoes and a touch of cream create a luxurious base that clings perfectly to the pasta.

Penne Boscaiola Recipe


  • 1 ounce (30g) dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) dry white wine
  • 6 slices thick-cut smoked bacon (about 6 ounces; 170g), cut into thin strips
  • 1 pound (450g) mixed fresh cultivated and wild mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, maitake, hedgehog, or oyster, woody ends trimmed, thinly sliced
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 1 medium onion (about 7 ounces; 200g), sliced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves (from about 8 sprigs)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce; 795g) can peeled whole tomatoes and their juices, crushed by hand or coarsely puréed with an immersion blender
  • 1 pound (450g) dried tubular pasta, such as penne or rigatoni
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves and tender stems (about 1/2 medium bunch)
  • 1 ounce (30g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving


  1. Soak porcini mushrooms in hot white wine for 10 minutes. Squeeze dry and chop, reserving the wine.
  2. In a Dutch oven, cook bacon until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  3. Add fresh and porcini mushrooms to the bacon fat. Cook until browned, about 8 minutes.
  4. Stir in onion, garlic, and thyme. Cook until softened and golden. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Return bacon to the pot. Add tomatoes and strained porcini wine. Simmer and season.
  6. Cook pasta until just shy of al dente. Reserve 2 cups of pasta water before draining.
  7. Stir cream into the sauce. Add pasta and simmer, adding pasta water as needed, until al dente and sauce coats pasta.
  8. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley and cheese. Serve with extra cheese.

Pro Tips for Perfect Penne Boscaiola

  • Don’t rush the mushroom browning process – it’s key for developing flavor
  • Finish cooking the pasta in the sauce for the best texture and flavor absorption
  • Adjust the sauce consistency with reserved pasta water as needed
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
998 Calories
46g Fat
115g Carbs
31g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 998
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 46g 59%
Saturated Fat 19g 97%
Cholesterol 91mg 30%
Sodium 949mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 115g 42%
Dietary Fiber 12g 44%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 34mg 171%
Calcium 267mg 21%
Iron 6mg 34%
Potassium 1257mg 27%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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