Fettuccine alla Boscaiola (Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta)
One from my early cheffin days! I used to cook this easy fettuccine alla boscaiola recipe day in and day out as an apprentice. To this day, it’s a family favourite that I’ve cooked for years and as far as I’m concerned, the BEST fettuccine boscaiola recipe around! It’s relatively quick to whip up, and a big pot full of creamy bacon and chicken pasta with a piece of garlic bread and a glass of pinot gris on the dinner table is my idea of heaven.
Who I’m cooking for usually dictates if I add fresh button mushrooms, or dried porcini mushrooms like the traditional Italian pasta dish, pasta alla boscaiola sauce. The Irishman loves them, I don’t. So I usually don’t cook my boscaiola pasta sauce with mushrooms, however, if they float your boat, feel free to add some. Just slice them and cook the mushrooms alongside the bacon.
What you are going to love about this creamy bacon and chicken fettuccine boscaiola
As far as comfort food goes, this recipe for fettuccine boscaiola is hard to beat. Think of chunks of chicken and bacon smothered in a rich, creamy, white wine reduction sauce. Total dreamboat material!
It’s a great dish for a crowd. Pop in the center of the table alongside lots of bread (for mopping up that delicious sauce!) and a simple green salad. It’s an absolute crowd-pleaser.
What is a boscaiola sauce?
Essentially it’s a creamy chicken, bacon, and mushroom pasta sauce, made with a white wine reduction and heavy cream. However, this dish has countless variations. This chicken boscaiola is the white version of a boscaiola sauce. There is a red version as well with tomatoes turning it into a rich creamy tomato sauce. Both are equally as amazing and basically comfort food heaven!
What you need to get started
- Fettuccine – When buying pasta from the store, there’s pasta, and there’s pasta. Many supermarket pastas are dried at high temperatures, effectively par cooking the pasta and making it really hard to get a perfect al dente result. Seek out those who stock pasta that is air-dried. You will not only notice the superior difference in taste, but the pasta itself is far better for you. My favourite dried pasta in Fettuccine Boscaiola is Pasta Liguria Fettucce. If fettuccine isn’t your fave pasta, substitute it for one you prefer. I’ve made this pasta with spaghetti, ravioli, penne and capunti. All work a treat! Penne Boscaiola anyone?! Alternatively, you could made some fresh, from scratch, homemade pasta.
- White wine – There is ALWAYS a bottle of wine in the fridge. I just use whatever is on hand. And pour myself a glass at the same time! Normally it will be a chardonnay, sav blanc blend or pinot gris. All these work perfectly.
- Seeded mustard – I live for quality French grain mustard. It can really transform a meal. This one is always in my fridge.
- Grana Padano – Always use authentic, freshly grated parmesan cheese. It can make or break your pasta! I use parmigiano or grana padano.
- Pantry staples – extra virgin olive oil, thickened or heavy cream, sea salt, freshly grounded black pepper
- Meats – chicken thighs, bacon rashers
- Vegetables – onion, garlic cloves, shallots
- In a large, heavy-based frying pan, heat oil, add the onion, and saute for 3 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the bacon. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Add the chicken and brown gently for a couple of minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. I like to stir quite frequently so nothing sticks too much and all the flavors combine nicely!
- Add cream, wine, and mustard. Stir till combined on medium heat, then simmer for 30 minutes or until the sauce mixture thickens slightly.
- When the sauce has started to thicken, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook your chosen pasta in the salted boiling water according to the packet’s instructions. I generally work on 100g of pasta per person, so for this recipe, I cook 400-500g of pasta. Don’t forget to add a little reserved pasta water (a couple of tablespoons) to add to the sauce
- Add cooked pasta to the creamy sauce and mix thoroughly. Finish with a good sprinkle of freshly grated quality grana padano/parmesan and some sliced spring onions. Season with salt and pepper.
A large frying pan or shallow casserole pan is essential. Because you are going to simmer the sauce for a while, a heavy-based pan will stop the cram from sticking and burning to the base.
A pasta pot or large saucepan to cook the pasta in as well as a cooks knife and chopping board.
Cook’s notes on how to make pasta boscaiola
To cut down on the carbs a bit, throw in your favorite steamed green veggies and toss through, just before serving. Steamed peas, broccolini, and English spinach work a treat. And, as a Mum, I always try to sneak in added greens when no one is watching. Personally, I’m a boscaiola pasta with peas kinda girl!
Don’t be shy when adding freshly ground pepper. The more the better I say!
When cooking pasta from a packet, I like the cook my pasta a few minutes less than the packet states. Firstly, because I like al-dente pasta and secondly because the pasta will continue cooking when it’s added to the sauce.
Can I make the sauce ahead of time?
Totally! If you’re short on time, the sauce can easily be made the day before. Just omit the chicken. Let it cool and pop into the fridge until required. When you’re ready to cook, pan-fry the chicken till cooked through in a frypan, then add the sauce and reheat. I usually add a tablespoon or two of additional thickened cream to the pan when reheating the pre-made sauce.
The pre-made sauce will last a couple of days in the fridge.
Because pasta is life, and my ultimate comfort food, here are a few more of my favorite pasta dishes…
- One Pan Chicken & Chorizo Orzo Bake
- Creamy Pesto Chicken Tortellini
- Beef and Red Wine Ragu
- Slow cooked rigatoni bolognese
- Tuna Pasta Bake
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 people 1x
- Category: Main Course
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Relatively quick to whip up, a big pot full of creamy bacon & chicken pasta with a glass of pinot gris on the dinner table is my idea of heaven.
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 500 g chicken thigh fillets, sliced
- 3 rashers bacon, trimmed, and sliced into a rough 1cm dice
- 250 ml white wine
- 300 ml thickened cream
- 1 tbsp seeded mustard
- salt and pepper
- 3 shallots, sliced
- 400 g fettuccine pasta
- grana padano (or reggiano)
- 1. In a large frying pan, saute the onion in oil for 3 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the bacon. Cook till for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the chicken and brown gently for a couple of minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. I like to stir quite frequently so nothing sticks too much and all the flavours combine nicely!
- Add cream, wine, mustard. Stir till combined on medium heat, then simmer for 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
- When the sauce thickens slightly, cook your chosen pasta according to the packet’s instructions. I generally work on 100g pasta per person, so for this recipe, I cook 400-500g of pasta. Don’t forget to reserve a little pasta water (a couple of tablespoons) to add to the sauce
- Add cooked pasta to the sauce and mix thoroughly. Finish with a good sprinkle of freshly grated quality grana padano, some sliced shallots, a good pinch of salt flakes & freshly ground pepper.
Traditionally there are button mushrooms in boscaiola, but they aren’t my thing, so I omit them. Feel free to add them (with the bacon at the saute stage) if you are a fan!
Keywords: Bacon, Chicken, Fettuccine, Pasta, mid-week dinner
Pasta heaven. Such a delicious pasta recipe!