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Author Notes: Throughout many parts of Italy, hunting and then eating Wild Boar, is a great passion —Chuck48
Serves 8 - 10 as a side (primi) dish
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
- 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
- 2 onions, coarsely chopped
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds boneless wild boar shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 8 juniper berries, finely chopped
- 2 cups Dry red wine
- 4 bay leaves
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- Parmigiano Reggiano - Grated
- 1 pound Pasta - Flat noodle - your choice
- 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
- Remove the oil from the pan. Add new oil and add the pureed veggies to the pan. Season them with salt, and brown them until fond forms on the bottom of the pan.
- 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. Add 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. 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.
- Drop the pasta into boiling, slated water. While the pasta is cooking, remove 1/2 of the ragu from the pot and reserve.
- When pasta is al dente, 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 Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Toss or stir vigorously.
- Plate, Topped with grated Parmigiano Reggiano