Wild Boar Sauce on a bed of Pappardelle*
Cinghiale or wild boar is especially loved in Tuscany where it roams freely throughout the heavily forested areas of the region. Its diet is rich in fruits and nuts giving it a distinctly scented red meat which is leaner and more flavourful than pork. It tends to be tough so it needs to be marinated before it is cooked but well worth the effort.
*Pappardelle: This style of pasta originated from Tuscany. These noodles are large, very broad and flat. The names derives from the Italian verb “pappare” meaning to gobble up which is easy to do with a good sauce.
Makes 6-8 servings
1 pound (450 g) wild boar meat
1½ cups (250 ml) red wine, preferably Chianti
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon (15 ml) juniper berries
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of rosemary
3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon (15 ml) all purpose flour
1-14 ounce (398 ml) can of San Marzano Tomatoes
Freshly grated Pecorino cheese
Cut the boar into 1½” (3.81 cm) cubes and place into a large bowl. Add in the wine, onion, juniper berries, peppercorns, bay leaves and rosemary. Marinade in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours or overnight.
Strain the meat and marinade, reserving the marinade. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the meat and brown on all sides. Sprinkle the browned meat with flour while in the pan and coat well. Add in the tomatoes, breaking them down with the back of a wooden spoon and stir in the strained marinade. Combine well scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil over a high heat then reduce to low.
Cover and simmer for 1½ to 2 hours until the meat is tender. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and chop it finely. Return the chopped meat to the sauce and stir well. Season with salt and simmer until the sauce is blended with the meat.
Served best over a bed of pappardelle*. Mix some of the sauce with the pappardelle noodles and pour the rest on top.
Grate with fresh Pecorino cheese on top for a truly Tuscan touch.