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Captured by  The Recipe Hunters in Italy

Penne alla Norcina

Ingredients for Penne alla Norcina

  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion - diced

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

  • 2 pork sausages 

  • 150 ml of cream (Italian Panna if possible)

  • .5 cup of dry white wine

  • Handful of Parmigiano Reggiano 

  • Salt & Black Pepper to taste

Recipe for 

Penne alla Norcina

Tender penne and sausage floating in a richly flavoured cream sauce...Penne alla Norcina, is a traditional Italian pasta dish from Norcia, Italy, a small town in the southeastern, mountainous region of Umbria. Norcia is famous for it's pork products, most notably it's sausages which are infused with fennel, garlic, and pepper.


The sauce can be prepared and made in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta! Try out Renata's quick, easy, and delicious recipe below!

Renata and her Penne alla Norcina


Serves 3 People


  • Boil 3 quarts of salted water in a medium sized pot.

  • Add the diced onion and 1 Tbsp of olive oil to a large frying pan (large enough to hold pasta), place over medium heat and cover. 

  • Remove the casing from sausage and mush the sausage down using the back of a spoon.

  • Once the onions are transparent, add the sausage. Season with salt and pepper. Allow the sausage to brown, occasionally using a wooden spoon.

  • Once browned on all sides, add the white wine.

  • Allow the white wine to reduce (a sign of reduction, is when you can no longer smell the white wine), add the panna, and stir using a wooden spoon.

  • Add the pasta to the boiling water, stir occasionally, and cook until tender but al dente or "firm to the bite."

  • Grate a handful of parmigiano reggiano into the cream sauce and stir it in.  

Made with Love Tip: Never buy grated cheese, always freshly grate your cheese, so it stays more fresh! An easy way to grate hard cheese is to process it in your food processor.

  • When pasta is al dente, strain it and add it to the sauce.

  • Mix the sauce thoroughly into the pasta, plate it, grate some additional parmigiano reggiano on top and enjoy Penne alla Norcina, Made with Love!



Boiling Water for Penne alla Norcina Recipe
Frying onions in olive oil - Penne alla Norcina Recipe
Covered pan of onions in olive oil - Penne alla Norcina Recipe
Fennel Sausage for Penne alla Norcina
Removing the Casing from the Sausage - Penne alla Norcina Recipe
Smushing the Sausage with the back of spoon - Penne alla Norcina Recipe
Adding Sausage to Onions - Penne alla Norcina Recipe
Adding White Wine to the Sausage and Onions - Penne alla Norcina Recipe
Adding Panna to reduced Wine, Sausage, and Onions - Penne alla Norcina Recipe
Stirring Panna into reduced Wine, Sausage, and Onions - Penne alla Norcina Recipe
Penne al Dente - Penne alla Norcina Recipe
Adding the Penne to the sausage cream sauce - Penne alla Norcina Recipe
Adding Parmigiano Reggiano to the Penne alla Norcina Recipe
Stirring the Parmigiano Reggiano into the Penne alla Norcina Recipe
Penne alla Norcina in the Shape of a Heart - Penne alla Norcina Recipe
Leila, Anthony and Renata with the  Penne alla Norcina Recipe

How did we meet Renata?


We were in search for a place to stay on airbnb in Perugia. When we saw Renata's profile stating that she "loves to enjoy other people, share her culture, and cook"...we booked a room in her apartment immediately. Renata insisted she would wait until 9:30 pm to cook for us and show us a typical Umbrian recipe!


Renata is a highly energetic, good spirited mom! Renata is originally from Puglia, near Bari, but she moved to Rome when she was 6 and then moved to Perugia a few years ago. Her heart is in Rome where she visits her siblings and daughter at least once a month. She has two children, Massimo and Gloria. Massimo is studying agricultural engineering at the University of Perugia. Renata runs the apartment, works at the local stationery, and invites all of her guests to enjoy meal in her house just as if she were making them for her children. She learned how to cook from her mom and is so interested in teaching others not only how to cook but about the Italian culture!   



Why is Renata a good fit for The Recipe Hunters?


We knew we were arriving late to Perugia so we told Renata not to worry about us. Renata had worked an entire day and we knew arriving after 9:30 pm was already asking for a lot. Upon arriving Renata gave us a big hug as if we knew each other our entire lives. She welcomed us in the apartment, settled us in, and told us that whenever we were ready, we can cook together. We insisted that she could go to sleep and that it was too late but she pleaded as she said, “I consider you as my children and I won't be able to sleep knowing that you are hungry.” We gathered in the kitchen and Renata patiently taught us the local Umbrian Pasta alla Norcia recipe. She was so happy that we were trying to practice Italian with her. With Renata there is no language barrier, all you need is a smile and an empty stomach! We stayed up late talking about her family and her life as we enjoyed every last bit of pasta, salad, and fresh grapes!


Written by The Recipe Hunters:

 Leila Elamine and Anthony Morano

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