Penne alla gigi (mushroom, pancetta, proscuitto & rosé sauce)

Penne alla gigi (mushroom, pancetta, proscuitto & rosé sauce)
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I’m offering this recipe with a proviso; anyone who asks me how to substitute the butter or cream with a healthier alternative will receive the following response: find another recipe for that night, because this dish is meant to be rich and will only work if no substitutions are made. I use 35% cream and take my time as I’m eating, savouring each bite to make the pleasure last as long as possible.

This is the kind of dish where you end up soaking up every last bit of sauce with your bread.

To me, happiness and balance are about letting yourself eat what you want, while being reasonable with portions. Modifying the recipe isn’t an option, so I say “Bring on the cream!”

  • ServesServes 4–6
  • Prep time5 min
  • Cook time18 min
  • Timeout-
  • FreezingNe se congèle pas.



  • 18 oz penne
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 oz white mushrooms, sliced
  • 3.5 oz prosciutto, chopped or diced
  • 3.5 oz pancetta, chopped or diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2-4 tablespoon cognac, to taste (I bought a mini 50 ml bottle at the liquor store)
  • 2 1/4 cups store-bought or homemade tomato sauce
  • 1 cup cream
  • 4-5 green onions, sliced
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving


  1. In a large pan, melt the butter. Cook the mushrooms until nicely browned (see tip). Season generously and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In the same pan, cook the pancetta and prosciutto over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute.
  4. Deglaze with the cognac. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon and add the mushrooms, cream, tomato sauce, and green onions. Mix well and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer while the pasta boils.
  6. In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and add to the sauce. Stir and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Tips & tricks

To get the mushrooms nicely browned, it’s important to sauté them in a large pan over high heat and refrain from stirring them for several minutes (I know it’s tempting). Why, you ask? Stirring the mushrooms causes them to release moisture and boil in their own juices, instead of browning. It makes all the difference.

Recipe published on August 19, 2018