Not only is Tuscany one of the most beautiful places in the world, it has some of the most flavourful food, freshly prepared with local ingredients. In the fall, tagliatelle with wild boar ragu, or cinghiale, features on the menu of most trattorias.
I was happily reminded of our travels to Italy when visiting our local butcher, Cumbrae’s, last week. Noticing they had wild boar sausage, I asked about getting a shoulder or rump roast for braising. Apparently they get a full side of wild boar every week during the fall, so I was inspired to adapt this recipe from Osteria di Rendola, in Florence, found in Savoring Tuscany by Lori de Mori.
A rich, deeply flavourful ragu to serve over tagliatelle.
- • 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
- • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
- • 2 c dry white wine
- • ½ c red wine vinegar
- • 4 lb boneless wild boar meat from the rump, cut into 2 inch chunks
- • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- • 1 yellow onion, chopped
- • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- • 1 celery stalk, chopped
- • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- • 3 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- • 1 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley, plus some for garnish
- • 1 c dry red wine
- • 1 lb plum (Roma) tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- • 1 c beef or vegetable broth
- • freshly ground pepper to taste
- The day before serving the ragu, make the marinade. In a bowl or Ziploc freezer bag large enough to hold the meat, combine the carrot, onion, celery, wine and vinegar. Rinse the meat well under running cold water and add to the bowl or bag. Turn the meat to coat well, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- The following day, remove the meat from the marinade and drain. Discard the marinade.
- In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Add the meat and sprinkle generously with salt. Saute, stirring frequently, only long enough to draw out the liquid, about 5 minutes. This step removes any unpleasant gaminess. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.
- Wash the frying pan and return to the stove over medium heat. Brown the meat in the remaining 3 tbsp of olive oil, about 10 minutes.
- Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, sage and 1 tbsp parsley to the pan. Saute until the vegetables begin to soften and become fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Pour in the wine and simmer until most of the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig and simmer slowly, uncovered, until the meat is tender, about 2 hours, adding small amounts of the broth as the pan begins to dry out. You may not use all the broth. Adjust the seasoning with salt and add pepper to taste.
- Transfer to a deep bowl, discarding the rosemary sprig. Sprinkle with parsley and serve over pasta.