CLASSIC pasta pappardelle with sugo di cinghiale (wild boar)








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You have to have at the ready, in case the opportunity arises and the famed cinghiale (wild boar) is available, the classic combination -- pappardelle con sugo di cinghiale. Here it is:

for the sauce:

  • one quarter cup olive oil
  • two cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • one stalk celery, finely chopped
  • one medium carrot, finely chopped
  • one medium onion, finely chopped
  • one pound boneless wild boar leg meat, coarsely chopped
  • two cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, with some juice, roughly chopped
  • one cup dry red wine
  • one tablespoon juniper berries
  • one sprig fresh rosemary
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • one tablespoon unsalted butter
  • one-quarter cup freshly grated parmesan (optional)

for the pasta:

In a heavy casserole, add the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for a minute. Add the onion and saute for a minute. Add the celery and carrot and saute over a medium high heat until the vegetables start to brown, about three to four minutes. Stir regularly.  Add the meat, a teaspoon of salt and several grinds of the pepper mill, and saute until the meat is totally brown. three to four minutes. While sautéing, stir with a wooden spoon to break up the meat as much as possible.

Add the red wine and boil for three minutes. Add the tomatoes and juice, juniper berries and rosemary.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for thirty minutes, stirring occasionally. The meat should be tender and the sauce thickened.

Get five quarts of water  up to a boil.  Add one tablespoon of salt. Add the pappardelle. Cook until al dente. Reserve one cup of the pasta liquid. Then drain.

Re-heat the sauce if necessary. Add the pappardelle to the sauce. Add the butter.  Stir well. If the sauce is too thick, add whatever is needed from the reserved pasta water to make it a little more fluid. Serve with a parsley garnish and parmesan on the side.



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