Food & Wine

Wild boar ragù with pappardelle/Ραγου αγριογουρουνο με παπαρδελες

A traditional recipe of Tuscany (a region in central Italy) is wild boar ragù with pappardelle (Ragù di cinghiale con pappardelle).

Boars are highly widespread throughout the region, especially in the Maremma, where it has became a local symbol. In Tuscany, wild boar hunting is both a tradition and a passion.

With pasta or in a stew, there are countless Tuscan specialties made with wild boar and you can taste them all at many food festivals (sagre del cinghiale), maybe accompanied by some other local delicacies, such as “tortelli” or “pappardelle” . Here  a 4 steps recipe from “Jamie’s Italy” cook book by Jamie Oliver. Enjoy with a fresh red “Chianti lo Sterpo”

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Sugo di Cinghiale di Mercatello (Jamie Oliver recipe)

2 1/4 lb wild boar cubed, trimmed of fat and sinew
2 large carrots, peeled
2 onions, peeled
6 stalks of celery
a handful of sage leaves
1 tsp juniper berries
1 bottle red wine
4 pieces of pancetta, black olives
2 – 3 small dried chilies, to taste
1 1 1/2 lb tomato puree
olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

1.Put the meat into a large sealable bag. Roughly chop half of the carrots, onions, and celery. Add to the meat in the bag. Bash up the sage with the juniper berries and toss with the meat and vegetables.Season with salt and pepper. Pour in half of the bottle of wine, topping up with water if necessary. Seal and place in a large bowl in the refrigerator overnight.

2.Remove the meat from the marinade, discarding the liquid and vegetables. Decide how you wish to serve your sauce and cut the meat accordingly

3.Heat a splash of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Fry the pancetta and chili until the pancetta is golden and crisp. Chop the remaining carrot, celery, and onion, add to the pan, and cook slowly for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the heat to high and add the meat to the pan. Cook until nearly all of the liquid has cooked off – this takes some time but will intensify the flavours.

4.Pour in the remaining wine. Stir together and continue cooking until; the liquid has nearly gone, then add the tomato sauce, black olives and a little water (if necessary). Season well with salt and pepper,  turn the heat to low, simmer gently for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, adding more water if the sauce gets too thick.

Cook pappardelle in boiling salted water, drain it, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the sauce, adding a little of the reserved cooking liquid. Divide it amongst the plates and sprinkle with Parmesan.   Enjoy with a fresh “Chianti lo Sterpo” red wine from Tuscany.

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A.Put the meat into a large sealable bag. ( I use a large Pyrex glass bowl). Roughly chop half of the carrots, onions, and celery. Add to the meat in the bag. Bash up the sage with the juniper berries and toss with the meat and vegetables.Season with salt and pepper. Pour in half of the bottle of wine, topping up with water if necessary. Seal and place in a large bowl in the refrigerator overnight.

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B.Heat a splash of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Fry the pancetta and chili until the pancetta is golden and crisp. Chop the remaining carrot, celery, and onion, add to the pan, and cook slowly for 10 to 15 minutes.

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C.Turn the heat to high and add the meat to the pan. Cook until nearly all of the liquid has cooked off – this takes some time but will intensify the flavours.

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D. Pour in the remaining wine. Stir together and continue cooking until; the liquid has nearly gone, then add the tomato sauce, black olives and a little water (if necessary). Season well with salt and pepper, turn the heat to low, simmer gently for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, adding more water if the sauce gets too thick.

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Great food in a typical Florence taverna

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