Nothing compares with penne and succulent pieces of tender woodcock simmered in a creamy tomato sauce. No woodcock in your hunting grounds? Other upland game birds such as grouse, Hungarian partridge and ptarmigan make for excellent alternatives.
Sauté woodcock in oil over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add onion, pepper, mushrooms and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes.
Lower heat to medium-low, then add tomato sauce and cream. Simmer until sauce thickens (about 5 minutes).
Toss sauce with cooked pasta and serve in a large bowl. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and basil, and serve with a crusty ciabatta loaf. A green side salad dressed with a balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil vinaigrette makes for a refreshing addition.