~ Montalcino ~
Cinghiale (wild boar) run freely in many parts of Tuscany.  Consequently,  it’s easy to find the famous “Ragu sul Cinghiale” all across Tuscany from the finest ristorante to the smallest Osteria.  Whether as the centerpiece of a comforting stew or served with pasta,  I love it and it quickly became a staple condimento for many of the dishes we enjoyed the last time we were there.   

~ Cinghiale Stew from Tre Porte: Castellina in Chianti ~

Wild Boar isn’t the easiest meat to find in the United States, so when I saw a small fresh roast at the local market during the holidays, I grabbed it.  As you’ll see, it’s from D’Artagnan and fresh boar meat can be purchased from them year round.  This recipe is easy and delicious.  Wild Boar is essentially pork; though it has a rich slightly gamy flavor that mellows wonderfully when it’s long braised.  If you cannot find Wild Boar meat, you can substitute ground pork or chopped pork shoulder.  The results will be similar, but sanitized.

~ Pappardelle sul Cinghiale:  San Gimignano ~

Pasta Sul Cinghiale    

2 pounds Cinghiale, bite size chop
1 sweet vidalia onion, quartered
2 medium carrots in several chunks
3 clover garlic
2 sprigs rosemary
8 oz.  San Marzano Tomatoes

~ This is the starting point. The espresso is my fuel. ~

Combine the carrots, onions and garlic in a food processor and pulse until they’re finely chopped.  Transfer to a heavy bottomed pot, drizzle with good extra virgin olive oil and saute until they begin to break down

~ Sauteing the Soffrito:  I added a few basil leaves for aroma and color ~

Once the vegetables soften, add the Cinghiale and brown over medium heat.  Don’t worry about forming a crust on the bottom of the pot.  Take the time to brown the meat well so you develop that succulent flavor.  

~ Browning the Cinghiale:  Note the size of the pieces ~
Once the meat has browned, add the San Marzano to the pot, use the tomato juices to deglaze and scrape the bottom of the pot free of brown bits.  With the lid slightly ajar, cover and simmer for at least 4-5 hours until the sauce picks up color from the meat and turns a deep red. About 30 minutes before you serve, chop the rosemary and stir it into the Ragu.  

~ This was maybe 1 hour after adding the tomato.  Believe it or not, this is mostly meat! ~

Finally,  prepare your pasta as you normally would.  The classic accompaniment is Pappardelle but I couldn’t find one that I liked so we were forced to use Bucatini. Once the pasta is al dente, toss with the Ragu Cinghiale straight from the pot and serve!  

~ 2 pounds of Bucatini and Ragu sul Cinghiale: Garnish with Parsley ~
Almost any Sangiovese based red will work amazingly well with this dish.  I’ve had it with Chianti Classico, Riserva,  Brunello, and Vino Nobile.
Tutti a tavola!

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