My husband knows me very well. This dish for Chicken alla Boscaiola was a new recipe for us when we cooked it this past week, and as soon as Jack read the description for this classic Italian dish, he knew it was my kind of pasta. Boy, he was right!
Pasta alla Boscaiola, or “’Woodman’s Pasta”, is a classic Italian dish that typically combines mushrooms, pancetta, parmesan and cream to create an earthy, creamy sauce.
There are many variations of Pasta alla Boscaiola – some with tomatoes added, some with ham rather than pancetta, others vary the herbs used for flavor. We added chicken to our version and substituted bacon for the pancetta as that was what we had on hand – but we’re sure the pancetta would be equally as delicious.
This Chicken alla Boscaiola is creamy, flavorful and comforting and we hope you will enjoy it as much as we did!
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ pound bacon chopped (about 8 slices)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms (baby bella, button or shitake)
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1 clove chopped garlic
- ⅛ cup sherry
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil (or 2 teaspoons fresh chopped)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh Italian flat leaf parsley chopped
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 pound fettuccini
- 1 Tablespoon fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped to garnish dish
- In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, combine 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter until melted and frothy.
- Working in two batches, add in chicken and brown on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per batch. Do not over cook. Remove chicken to a flat plate to cool and stop the cooking process.
- Place the bacon in the same pan and cook until it is crispy. Remove to paper towels, chop and reserve.
- Drain off all bacon fat but reserve two tablespoons,half of which gets used in next step.
- Put one tablespoon of bacon fat and one tablespoon of butter in the same pan and sauté mushrooms for 2-3 minutes or until they just start to give up their liquid. Remove from pan and set aside along with all of the pan drippings.
- Add the second tablespoon of bacon fat and butter back into the pan and sauté onions and garlic until the onions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and their liquid back into the pan with the onions, add the sherry and cook for one minute scraping any bits from the bottom.
- Add in cream, sour cream, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, parsley and parmesan cheese. As mixture starts to bubble, reduce heat to medium and simmer 2 more minutes. The mixture will begin to thicken.
- Cook fettuccini according to package directions. When draining reserve one cup of pasta water.
- Add cooked chicken and bacon back to sauce and stir.
- Add cooked fettuccini and cook over low to medium heat for 1-2 minutes to blend flavors. If the dish is too thick, add a little pasta water until desired consistency is achieved.
- Serve with fresh parsley sprinkled over individual servings.
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