Pasta alla Pastora

Pasta alla Pastora

Pasta alla Pastora is a dish originated from Alto-Adige, South Tyrol in North-East Italy. This is a Bolognese-based sauce with an addition of cream, mushrooms, ham, and green peas. Hearty and delicious, this pasta will not disappoint you!

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Pasta alla Pastora

Hey folks – how are you doing? I hope this week (and apparently, March, too) have been treating you well so far. While it is still some time until March 19 when astronomical (equinox) spring starts, March 1 is always existing as because a) meteorological spring starts March 1 and b) normally, you can feel spring in the air by this time. (It does not mean here in Nova Scotia we are done with winter and snow… probably not until mid of April…or May LOL!)

Anyway, another week – another pasta recipe!

In fact, all recipes I have been sharing this year so far were maid and photographed in 2023. And yes, last winter we had pasta so many times – I would say we tried an authentic pasta recipe almost each weekend! (Unlike in 2024 when we have enjoyed pasta just a couple of times so far) :)

And it is no secret that I used two blogs The Pasta Project – Authentic Pasta Recipes ( and Memorie di Angelina – Easy authentic Italian recipes for searching and learning some authentic dishes I had not been familiar with.

Pasta alla Pastora

I grabbed the recipe for Pasta alla Pastora from the Pasta Project.

What is Pasta alla Pastora?

Basically, it is a Bolognese-based sauce elevated with an addition of cream, mushrooms, ham, and green peas. You do not need to make Bolognese for this recipe – as it is a perfect way to utilize some leftover Bolognese by adding a few additional ingredients. So next time you making Bolognese from scratch, be sure to make a large batch to enjoy it with few different recipes!

To make Pasta alla Pastora, you will need to make some Bolognese, if you do not have any leftovers – and that will take a minimum of 2-3 hours. So please plan accordingly. For the sauce, sauté onions, mushrooms, ham, and peas with some oil them combine with the Bolognese and cream – done!

The only major difference from the Pasta Project recipe is that I additionally cooked the mushrooms first, to release an excess of liquid so they would be more aromatic and browned. But you can skip this step and sauté everything together.

More Authentic Pasta Recipes

Looking for more Italian pasta recipes? Please be sure to check some.

Pasta alla Papalina

Pasta with Sardines

Ragù alla Bolognese

Pasta alla Genovese

Sicilian Style Pasta with Cauliflower

I hope you like this Pasta alla Pastora, and you will make it a try.  If you make it, let me know in this post or send me an Instagram message or share your photos adding the hashtag #havocinthekitchen.


Pasta alla Pastora
Pasta alla Pastora

Pasta alla Pastora

Recipe by Ben | HavocinthekitchenCourse: MainCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Pasta alla Pastora is a dish originated from Alto-Adige, South Tyrol, Italy. This is a Bolognese-based sauce with an addition of cream, mushrooms, ham, and green peas. Cooking time does not include time for making Bolognese; that will be another 2-4 hours.

Recipe adopted from the Pasta Project.


  • ~400-420 gr. tubular pasta such as penne, canneroni, or rigatoni

  • 200 gr. Bolognese sauce

  • 2-3 tbsp. (30-35 ml.) olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 200 gr. button mushrooms

  • 100 gr. cooked lean ham, cubed

  • 100 gr. frozen green peas

  • 150 ml. cream (10 or 18%)

  • salt and black, to taste

  • fresh parsley, chopped


  • If you are not using leftover Bolognese sauce, be sure to make a batch before proceeding; keep in mind Bolognese requires a minimum of 2 hours to cook.
  • Clean the mushrooms – depending on how dirty they are, you may simply wipe or quickly rinse. Slice.
  • In a large pan or skillet, cook the mushrooms for about 5-7 minutes, without adding any oil. The mushrooms will release an excess of liquid first then will start browning. Once the released liquid has mostly evaporated and mushrooms have started browning, remove and set them aside.
  • If necessary, wipe or quickly rinse the pan (in case some mushroom pieces stack to the bottom.) Return the pan to the low-medium heat. Add some olive oil and cook the onion, for about 5 minutes, until it starts to soften.
  • Return the mushrooms to the pan and add the ham and green peas (you don’t need to thaw them in advance.) Cook on a low heat for about 15-20 minutes. If the sauce seems to be dry, add a splash of water.
  • In a meantime, cook the pasta in salted boiling water, until al dente, as instructed on the package.
  • When peas and mushrooms are ready (step 5), stir in the Bolognese sauce and cream. Season with some salt and pepper, if necessary, to your taste. Simmer for a minute or so.
  • When the pasta is ready (step 8), reserve some pasta water and drain them gently stir in the pasta into the sauce. If the sauce seems to be too thick / dry, add a bit of the reserved pasta water. Let the mixture cook for a minute to combine the flavours then add the parsley and serve. Enjoy!

22 thoughts on “Pasta alla Pastora

  1. David Scott Allen says:

    Ugh. Now I need to decide between this and Baffo! I think I might like this better because of the mushrooms and peas. One of them soon! (But I am about to see the third pasta… all bets are off till then.) thanks!

  2. Raymund says:

    Pasta alla Pastora sounds like a delightful twist on the classic Bolognese sauce! The addition of cream, mushrooms, ham, and green peas elevates the dish to a whole new level of flavor and heartiness. Nice!

  3. David @ Spiced says:

    While I’m not familiar with Pasta alla Pastora, I do love a good Bolognese sauce! Thanks for the background on this recipe…it sounds absolutely delicious. We’ve had some good pinot grigios from the Alto-Adige region, so now we need to add some pasta recipes from that area, too!
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  4. Marissa says:

    I love this expansion on Bolognese sauce, Ben! Ham, peas and mushrooms add so much flavor and texture. (Daisy is as cute as ever!)

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