Classic Northern Italian Wild Boar Ragu
By Andrew Zimmern
In this episode of Wild Game Kitchen, I’m preparing a traditional Northern Italian-style wild boar ragu. I’ll show you how to butcher the boar shoulder, then simmer it over a low fire with red wine and tomatoes to pair with a hearty bowl of pasta.
Wild Boar Ragu Recipe
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 8 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
- 2 pounds diced wild boar meat from the leg or shoulder, trimmed very well of fat and sinew
- 2 celery ribs, minced
- 2 carrots, minced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 8 anchovy filets, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chile flakes
- 2 tablespoons AZ & Badia Italian Seasoning, or your favorite all-purpose Italian seasoning
- A few sprigs of fresh basil
- 3 cups red wine (I like to use a Rhone from E. Guigal for cooking)
- 32 oz crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 12 ounces Italian Pecorino Romano
- 1 pound dried rigatoni, paccheri or calamari shaped pasta
Place the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium direct heat. Once the oil starts to shimmer, add the pancetta and cook until the fat begins to render and the meat starts to brown. Push the pancetta to the outside of the pot and add the boar meat, allowing it to brown in the pancetta fat and olive oil.
Once it’s browned on one side, add the celery, carrots, onion, anchovies, chile flakes, Italian seasoning, and fresh basil. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring.
Add the wine, bring to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, until it’s reduced by roughly two-thirds. Add the tomatoes, bring back to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for about 1 hour, or until the boar is tender. Add the milk and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta to your taste in a large volume of salted water.
Grate your cheese and reserve.
Drain pasta well and toss into the sauce for at least 60 seconds to allow the pasta to absorb some of your sauce. Plate, spooning more sauce over your pasta portions as desired and add some of the cheese to taste and serve. Pass the remaining the cheese.