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Pappardelle con il cinghiale. Pasta with boar sauce.

(siena is divided into contrade, or, roughly, neighborhoods. Bensonhurst is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York)

In our Bensonhurst contrada it is always fall. Our trees are always shedding their leaves. Our young ones kick up these leaves walking through. They are orange-yellow and yellow. Our contrada is a bright one. Our women are always smiling. Our shield contains a radiating sun. I will always be among the young ones walking through the leaves on the sidewalk along Sixteenth Avenue that also runs up beneath my mother’s yellow kitchen. The animal that represents our contrada is the boar. An old wise boar trundles at the vanguard, eye darting now left now right, vigilant of the boar hunters with large-caliber bullets in their gun belts which Daisy and I saw from our car. One shot and the boar is down. It was the first day of the hunting season in siena south. It was raining and the going was rocky and muddy. We were on our way to the dopolavoro, a restaurant which served as a refuge to children during the Second World War, brought there by a valiant woman whose spirit marches in our contrada. This is so because I am the member of our contrada who is writing this. I left my footprints in the mud during the “10-minute walk” from our parking spot to the restaurant. Though Daisy marches in her own contrada in Chicago, Illinois, her spirit will always march in ours because I had loved her and she was afraid for the boars of their hunters with large bullets and she loved to eat boar with her pasta. Pappardelle con il cinghiale. Pasta with boar sauce.

Pappardelle with Wild Boar Ragu (Pappardelle al Ragu Di Cinghiale)
Recipe courtesy Gioco

Total Time:
47 min
30 min
2 min
15 min

4 servings


2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound cubed wild boar, may substitute pork shoulder, if desired
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces diced onions
2 ounces diced carrots
2 ounces diced celery
1 ounce minced garlic
4 ounces tomato paste
1 ounce all-purpose flour
1 quart red wine
1 bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig sage
4 to 6-ounce portions fresh or dry pasta, cooked al dente


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Once the meat is browned, add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Reduce the heat and cook until the moisture is gone. Add the tomato paste and flour. Add the red wine and herbs. Cover and cook for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. The sauce is done when the meat is fork tender.

Remove the meat from the sauce and set aside. Strain the sauce, blend, and return to the pan. Pull the meat apart and add back to the blended sauce.

Serve over pasta.

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