Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tagliatelle with Wild Boar and Mushroom Sauce

As promised, I'm posting a recipe for this rustic Italian sauce.  I can't believe it, but it's been 10 years since we first went to Italy.  That first trip, and another trip the following year has profoundly influenced what and how I cook.  I learned an incredible amount and developed an eagerness to use mostly fresh ingredients, that is, what's available seasonally.  

How can you not be inspired by a setting so gorgeous!  Endless rolling hills dotted with stone villas, grapevines and a garden in almost every backyard.  This is an area where you hear hunter's in the valley searching for wild boar.  (probably not a good place to take a stroll in the early morning hours!)  I can still see the overflowing basket of freshly picked assorted mushrooms in our caretaker's home as we waited to "check-in" to our humble stone cottage which sat at the edge of the Chianti hills.

Hubby in the homeland overlooking Chianti countryside

One of our first excursions was to a town called Castellina in Chianti.  After exploring the ancient Etruscan tombs and the town, we happened upon a tiny trattoria.   After all these years, I remember choosing either the wild hare with pasta or the wild boar, also with pasta.  I was hooked and vowed to do my best to replicate this dish and the Tuscan eating experience!   Now that I found a regular wild boar "connection" or supplier, I'm able to make this.   Fresh pasta is a MUST, so refer to the last posting for instructions.

Wild Boar Sauce for Pasta

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 lb ground wild boar

1/2 cup yellow onion, cut up not quite a dice

1 shredded carrot

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 large portabello mushroom, sliced and chopped

1-2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 1/2 cups white wine

handful of chopped fresh parsley

basil, I used the squeeze product, 1 inch ribbon.   I was lacking fresh!

salt and pepper

In a large pot, add the oil and boar meat.  Cook on medium heat while breaking it into smaller pieces using a wooden spoon.  As it browns, add the onion,  carrot, mushroom and garlic, stirring as it cooks.  Mix in the tomato paste and add the wine.  Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer (low).  Add the basil and parsley, salt and pepper and continue to cook for about 30 more minutes.  If the sauce looks too thick add some water to loosen.  Serve over fresh pasta and you have a truly Tuscan experience!  Mangia!

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