Pappardelle with Wild Boar Ragu

Total Time:
4 hr 40 min
Prep:
40 min
Cook:
4 hr

Yield:
serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a first course
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
Directions

In a food processor, puree the garlic, carrots, celery and onions into a coarse paste. Reserve.

Coat a large, wide pot with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Sprinkle the boar generously with salt and add to the hot pan. Cook the boar until it is VERY brown on all sides. Remove the boar from the pan and reserve.

Ditch the excess oil in the pan. Add a few drops of new oil and add the pureed veggies to the pan. Season them with salt, and brown them until crud forms on the bottom of the pan. Scrape the crud off the bottom of the pan (don't let the crud burn- it adds A LOT of flavor).

Return the browned boar to the pan and add the tomato paste and cocoa powder. Stir to combine and cook the tomato paste for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Toss in the chopped juniper berries.

Add the wine and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let the wine reduce by half.

Add water to the pan so it covers the boar by about 1-inch. Toss in the bay leaves and thyme bundle. Taste the liquid and season with salt if needed (it will). Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let cook for 3 hours, adding water as the liquid level reduces. Taste frequently and re-season as needed.

During the last 30 minutes of cooking time, let the cooking liquid reduce and the sauce get thick.

Also during the last 30 minutes of cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat to cook the pappardelle. Pasta water should ALWAYS be well salted. Salty as the ocean! TASTE IT! If your pasta water is under seasoned, it doesn't matter how good your sauce is, your complete dish will always taste under seasoned. When the water is at a rolling boil add the pappardelle and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is cooking, remove 1/2 of the ragu from the pot and reserve.

Drain the pasta and add to the pot with the remaining ragu. Stir or toss the pasta to coat with the sauce. Add some of the reserved sauce if needed to make it about an even ratio between pasta and sauce. Add the reserved pasta cooking water and cook the pasta and sauce together over a medium heat until the water has reduced. Turn off the heat and give a generous drizzle of the big fat finishing olive oil. Toss or stir vigorously. Divide the pasta and sauce into serving bowls or one big pasta bowl. Top with grated Parmigiano. Serve immediately.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Chianti

Chef Anne's Pappardelle:

Place the flour on a clean, dry work surface. Make a hole (this is also called a well) in the center of the flour pile that is about 8 inches wide (bigger is definitely better here). Crack all of the eggs and the yolk into the hole and add the olive oil, salt and 1 to 2 tablespoons water.

Using a fork, beat the eggs together with the olive oil, water (or more if needed) and salt. Using the fork, begin to incorporate the flour into the egg mixture, be careful not to break the sides of the well or the egg mixture will run all over your board and you will have a big mess! Also, don't worry about the lumps. When enough flour has incorporated into the egg mixture that it will not run all over the place when the sides of the well are broken, begin to use your hands to really get everything well combined. If the mixture is tight and dry, wet your hands and begin kneading with wet hands. When the mixture has really come together to a homogeneous mixture, THEN you can start kneading.

When kneading it is VERY important to put your body weight into it, get on top of the dough to really stretch it and not to tear the dough. Using the heels of your palms, roll the dough to create a very smooooooth, supple dough. When done, the dough should look VERY smooth and feel almost velvety. Kneading will usually take from 8 to 10 minutes for an experienced kneader and 10 to 15 for an inexperienced kneader. Put your body weight into it, you need to knead! This is where the perfect, toothsome texture of your pasta is formed. Get in there and have fun!

When the pasta has been kneaded to the perfect consistency, wrap it in plastic and let rest for at least 1 hour. If using immediately, do not refrigerate.

To roll the pasta: Cut off 1/3 of the pasta dough, reserve the rest and keep it covered.

Squash the pasta with the heels of your hands to facilitate it going through the pasta roller. Dust with flour. Put the pasta through the roller set on number one. Roll the dough through 2 times, dusting it with flour if it feels sticky or tacky.

Fold the pasta into thirds and put it through the machine on number one again.

Change the setting on the pasta roller to number two and run the pasta through. Continue to roll the pasta through the machine, changing the setting each time to a larger number (this will make the opening on the pasta machine smaller). When you get to the desired thin-ness (I recommend number six), cut the pasta into 10-inch lengths. Flour the dough generously and stack them in a pile. Cover the stack with plastic or a clean tea towel and proceed rolling the rest of the pasta.

When the pasta is all rolled, take 3 sheets of pasta and fold both ends of the pasta over each other until they meet in the middle.

Using a sharp knife, cut the pasta rolls into 1-inch widths. Unroll the pasta "ribbons" and dust with semolina and reserve on sheet trays.


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