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.
- 6-8 woodcock breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 12 mushrooms, quartered
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1½ cups tomato sauce
- 1 cup whipping cream
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 lb penne pasta, cooked
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 3 tbsp fresh basil, coarsely chopped (or 3 tsp dried basil)
- 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.