November 23, 2021

Ask A Chef: Penne alla Boscaiola

Recipe: Jacob Lubaczewski

Chef Jacob Lubaczewski of Ristorante a Mano shares his recipe for the classic Italian dish Penne alla Boscaiola.

Q: I went to Ristorante a Mano in Halifax and had the most incredible pasta dish. It had roasted chicken and the sauce was exceptionally rich. Can you get the recipe for me? — Emma, Halifax

A: Jacob adds depth to this traditional pasta recipe by combining roasted chicken and crispy bacon with caramelized mushrooms and onions. Then, penne is tossed in a rich, creamy sauce and topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano. “This dish is the epitome of warm, comforting Italian food,” says Jacob.

Send your questions to [email protected].



  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour

Demi-glace (batch)

  • 10 lbs. veal bones
  • 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs. onions (chopped)
  • 1⁄2 L red wine, divided
  • 1 lb. celery (chopped)
  • 1 lb. carrots (chopped)
  • 2 oz. chicken base
  • 1 oz. beef base
  • 1⁄2 lb. currant jelly


  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup penne

Boscaiola Sauce

  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 1⁄2 oz. raw bacon
  • 1 tsp garlic butter
  • 3 oz. mushrooms
  • 1 1⁄2 oz. onions
  • 2 1⁄2 oz. shredded chicken (store-bought or homemade)
  • 3⁄4 oz. port
  • 3 oz. Demi-glace (see recipe above)
  • 1⁄2 tsp chopped parsley
  • 1⁄4 oz. cream
  • 1 tsp basil oil
  • 1⁄2 oz. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving



Yield: Serves 1

Make Roux

  1. Over medium heat, add butter and flour to frying pan. Stir until golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Put aside.

Make Demi-Glace

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place veal bones in pan and roast until browned, about 4 hours. When bones are done roasting, put in large pot. Cover bones with water.
  2. Deglaze roasting pan with water and scrape bottom of pan. Transfer mixture to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 4 hours, keeping water level up to original level as needed. After 4 hours, remove bones.
  3. In frying pan over medium heat, add vegetable oil and fry onions until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Deglaze pan with half of red wine, and stir for 10 minutes. Add to veal stock.
  4. In new frying pan, sauté celery and carrots, until golden. Add remaining red wine and bring to a boil. Add mixture to veal stock and cook for another hour.
  5. Remove all vegetables from pot and bring back to a boil. Add chicken and beef base, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add prepared Roux and cook until smooth, around 15 minutes. Remove any surface fat.
  6. Add currant jelly and continuously whisk mixture for 10 minutes. Strain, and put in refrigerator. Remove any excess fat from top.

Prepare Penne

  1. In medium pot over high heat, bring water to a rolling boil. When water is boiling, add kosher salt and penne. Boil until al dente, around 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Make Pasta Sauce

  1. In frying pan over medium heat, heat canola oil. When oil is hot, add raw bacon and render fat. Add garlic butter and sauté until garlic is fragrant. Add mushrooms and onions, and cook until caramelized, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add chicken. Stir to mix well and continue on medium heat, stirring occasionally, and scraping bottom of pan to prevent burning.
  3. Stir in port and deglaze mixture, 5 minutes. Add Demi-glace, parsley, cream and basil oil, and bring to a boil. Set aside.

Assemble Pasta

  1. Add penne and Parmigiano-Reggiano to frying pan and stir until cheese melts.
  2. Serve pasta in bowl and top with more Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Courtesy of Ristorante a Mano


House & Home November 2021