The Perfect Winter Pasta Recipe
January 31, 2016
RecipeLifestyleDinner
Winter is my favorite season for eating. Yes the summer is overflowing with fresh vegetables, but the winter if filled to the brim with recipes that warm you up from the outside in (and make you thankful for bulky sweaters). I've been looking for a too-good-to-be-true winter pasta recipe for some time now, and it looks like my search is officially over thanks to The Woks Of Life!
From The Woks Of Life...Sometimes, I’ll build an entire recipe around a single ingredient, deliberating idea after idea for how to showcase that one ingredient in its best light. This time around, it was a $6 bag of “farfalloni,” which a quick Google search has just told me are just a slightly bigger version of your regular everyday bow tie pasta.

I blame TJ Maxx.

There isn’t a store on earth that can ensnare me quite so easily as a TJ Maxx (or its brethren, Marshalls and Homegoods). Where else can you buy a designer sweater, a jar of your favorite marinara sauce, and bottle of fancy dog shampoo––all in the same store? I swear I’m not being paid to say these things. I just have an unhealthy obsession with off-price retail, apparently.
Weeks ago, I found myself in said establishment, and I was snaking my way through the kitchen supplies area when I happened upon a section of imported pastas from Italy. I grabbed this bag of especially fancy bow ties, justifying the purchase with the idea that I’d create a recipe for the blog.

It took a while, but I’ve come up with a winner. I wanted to create a pasta recipe that’s perfect for cold weather days and features the two herbs that are still chugging on in our garden––thyme and sage. With sausage meatballs, toasted walnuts, caramelized mushrooms, shaved parmesan, and a touch of cream, this is THE perfect winter pasta recipe to take you through the next few months. Here’s how to make it!
Winter Pasta Recipe
Prep Time
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Cook Time
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Total Time
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Ingredients
8 oz. sweet Italian sausage extra virgin olive oil
8 oz. dried short cut pasta, such as farfalle or rigatoni 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons butter 1 lb mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, oyster, or chanterelles
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves 3 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper 1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
½ cup toasted walnuts 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
shaved parmesan or romano cheese
Instructions
1.
Remove the sausage from the casings, and form into small meatballs. In a skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil and fry the meatballs until browned, crisp, and cooked through. Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.
2.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta and cook according to package instructions, undercooking the pasta by 1-2 minutes. Drain, reserving about a cup of the cooking liquid.
3.
Meanwhile, add another tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and add the sage. Once the sage is crisp, remove from the pan and set aside on a plate. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet and cook the mushrooms until caramelized, along with the fresh thyme. Add the garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 3 minutes.
4.
Add the half and half, along with the pasta, meatballs, and parsley. If the sauce needs to be loosened up a bit, add a bit of the reserved pasta water until you reach the desired consistency. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the crispy sage, walnuts, and cheese.
5.
Serve!