“Scottiglia di Cinghiale”
(adapted from the Italian Farmhouse Cookbook by Susan Hermann Loomis)
As the leaves turn and the weather cools, my thoughts invaribly go to slow cooked meals in my cozy kitchen. One of my favorites is this Tuscan classic Wild Boar Stew. It sounds very exotic–and it is a little–but pork can be substituted and it’s every bit as hearty and satisfying, especially with a glass of Brunello di Montalcino.
Step 1 (if using wild boar meat)
Marinate the following for 24 hours. The marinade will absorb any gamy flavor from the boar.
2 lbs. wild boar* leg or shoulder meat cubed (about 1 1/2″ cubes)
1 bottle red wine
2 carrots, diced
12 juniper berries, crushed with a knife
1 bay leaf
1/2 onion, diced
2 lbs. marinated wild boar* from above or pork (no marinate is required when using pork)
2-3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Italian parsley leaves
1 cup hearty red wine (such as Rosso di Montalcino or Chianti)
1 28-oz. can Italian stewed tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
10-12 fresh sage leaves
crushed red pepper as desired
1 pound pappardelle pasta
1. Place the oil, onion, and minced garlic in a large heavy skillet over medium heat and cook until the onion is golden at the edges, about 10 minutes. Drain the marinate from the meat and throw away the marinade. Add the meat, stir, and cook until browned, about five minutes. Add the parsley and wine, stir, and bring the wine to a boil. Reduce the heat so the wine is simmering and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat has absorbed most of the wine, about 25 minutes.
2. When the meat has absorbed most of the wine, add the tomatoes. Stir to combine, then add the rosemary and sage, covering them with the tomato juices, add crushed red pepper if desired. Bring the juices to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook until the meat is very tender and has absorbed almost all of the liquid, about 2 hours. Check the meat occasionally and stir so that it doesn’t stick, breaking up the tomatoes into smaller pieced.
3. Cook the pasta in salted water.
4. To serve, spoon a large portion of the stew over the pappardelle noodles in an Italian ceramic bowl from www.poggibonsigifts.com, sprinkle with fresh parsley and freshly grated parmiggiano reggiano cheese.
Enjoy with a crisp green salad, crusty bread and hearty red wine.
*Wild boar meat can be found at many specialty butchers. In Seattle, I’ve special ordered it from Don and Joe’s at the Pike Place Market, 206.682.7670, www.donandjoesmeats.com or online at www.brokenarrowranch.com.