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Pasta Alla Norcina Creamy Sausage Penne Rigatoni

Pasta alla Norcina is a pasta dish from the Umbria region of central Italy, typically made with penne it features sausage in a creamy sauce.

Crumbled Italian style pork sausage is at the centre of this quick and easy pasta dish that will go from your fridge to your table in around 25 minutes.

Pasta alla norcina with black pepper and fresh parmesan cheese.

Creamy Sausage Pasta

My site is littered with dozens of pasta dishes. This Pasta alla Norcina recipe joins other creamy pasta recipes like my chicken and leek pasta with creme fraiche, ham and mushroom tagliatelle, chicken and mushroom tagliatelle and steak Diane pasta.

All of those dishes are figments of my foodie brain. This however is very much built on a “classic” Italian dish.

Norcia is in Central Italy and his dish uses crumbled sausages from the region and cooks them in a cream sauce. Classically topped with freshly grated hard cheese and usually shaved black truffles.

Now I am not a truffle kinda guy, I like them, but they are certainly not something that I cook with at home.

As a result, they are conspicuous by their absence in my version of this recipe. But fear not, this is still exceptionally good.

It is also quick and easy taking just 25 minutes to cook and prepare!

If you like the idea of sausage pasta you should definitely check out my sausage and pepper pasta, Polish lazanki and chorizo pasta recipes as well as my sausage gnocchi recipe.

If you are a little more adventurous, check out my haggis pasta bolognese!

Close up pasta alla norcina with black pepper and fresh parmesan cheese.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of sausage should I use?

In the Umbrian region, this would be made with a typical Norcia sausage. Now I am not suggesting you get some shipped or you head to a super expensive deli for this simple dish.

Many supermarkets and butchers will sell some form of Italian style fresh sausage, use that.

You can even play around with it and use something like a Lincolnshire sausage or even a Cumberland sausage. It will not taste “authentic”, but it will be delicious!

Can I use a different type of pasta?

Yes, of course! Traditionally this is made with penne pasta, I usually make it with penne rigatoni. But you could use anything from cavatelli to pappardelle!

Why should I avoid a nonstick pan to cook the sausage?

A huge amount of the flavour in this dish comes from the little bits of caramelised sausage that stick to the base of the pan.

The nature of nonstick pans means that this does not happen and as a result, you get less flavour!

Overhead pasta alla norcina with black pepper and fresh parmesan cheese.

Serving Suggestions

For me, this Pasta alla Norcina recipe is a simple meal in a bowl. That does not stop greedy old me from adding a little bit extra though.

That something extra is almost always some form of bread!

Some nice buttery garlic bread always goes down a real treat.

However, I am just as likely to use some focaccia or ciabatta to mop up any sauce from the base of the bowl when I am finished.

If you really want to treat yourself you could even add some slivers of fresh black truffle which is a traditional addition in Norcia.

Penne rigatoni alla norcina with black pepper and creamy pork sausage.

Equipment Used

Unless otherwise stated I generally have no brand recommendations for equipment used.

  • Stovetop.
  • 28cm (11″) frying pan or skillet with a lid, try not to use a nonstick pan.
  • Medium (20-24cm) saucepan.
  • Grater.
  • Weighing scales or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Colander or sieve.
Pasta alla Norcina made with penne rigatoni garnished with pepper and parmesan cheese.
Yield: 2 Servings

Pasta Alla Norcina Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This delicious creamy sausage pasta recipe is my take on a wonderful Umbrian pasta dish called Penne alla Norcina.


  • 250g (9oz) Italian Pork Sausages
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 200g (7oz) Rigatoni Pasta
  • 125ml (½ Cup) Double Cream
  • 125ml (½ Cup) White Wine
  • 25g (¼ Cup) Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
  • Salt for Pasta Water (1 Tablespoon for 4 litres of Water)


  1. Bring a pan of well salted water to the boil (1 tablespoon for every 4 litres of water).
  2. Remove the pork sausages from their skins, then crumble them.
  3. Bash the garlic cloves with the side of a knife to bruise them.
  4. Heat a medium frying pan (28cm) over a medium high heat and when it is hot add the olive oil.
  5. Add the crumbled sausage and garlic cloves and cook them until the sausage is golden. Make sure that you scrape the base of the pan regularly to stop any sticking.
  6. Pour in the white wine and reduce the heat to low, scrape any crispy bits fro the base and then add a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Once the lid goes on the sausages add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, 10-12 minutes.
  8. Once the sausage has had 10 minutes remove the garlic and pour in the cream, stir and simmer on low until the pasta is ready.
  9. Drain the pasta and add it to the sausage, make sure that you reserve a little of the cooking water.
  10. Stir the pasta adding just enough of the cooking liquid to make a nice coating for the dish.
  11. Serve sprinkled with lots of freshly grated parmesan and black pepper.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1105Total Fat: 75gSaturated Fat: 30gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 41gCholesterol: 190mgSodium: 1266mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 38g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

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