Wild boar ragu or ragu al cinghiale is my take on an Italian meat sauce using minced boar in a red wine sauce that is perfect pasta fodder.
Whilst the sauce takes about 90 minutes to cook only around 15 minutes of that involve active cooking, the rest of the time you can chill out and relax!
Wild Boar Bolognese
Pasta with a meat sauce may seem as old as time, but in reality, it has only been around since the 18th century.
Despite that it is a firm favourite all around the world and most cooks have a take on bolognese sauce in their armoury.
I have many! I refuse to only do things “one way”, there is always room to like lots of things.
This version uses wild boar and matches it with fennel, two flavours that are perfect together.
Frequently Asked Questions
What sort of pasta should/could I use?
This is a nice versatile meat sauce, it will work with everything from penne and rigatoni to pappardelle and fettuccini.
Do I have to use lard?
No, you could use oil if you like, but wild boar is a very lean meat and using lard helps give back that “porcine” fat flavour that is missing.
What sort of red wine should I use?
You want a nice bold red that is not too sweet. Go for something like merlot, syrah or even a cabernet sauvignon.
What do the anchovies add?
This is a super simple meat sauce with remarkably few ingredients, the anchovies in this recipe amp up that savoury umami vibe in this simple dish.
This wild boar ragu or ragu al cinghiale recipe is a simple one-bowl dinner, although I do like to serve it with some bread.
I’d usually try and knock up a simple garlic bread with some ciabatta or focaccia.
However pasta ain’t the only game in town, a good meaty ragu is superb served over a cheesy polenta porridge. The recipe linked above uses cheddar, but I would use a nice nutty Gruyere to serve with this ragu.
I only recommend specific brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- Medium frying pan (24cm or 10″).
- Sharp kitchen knife.
- Chopping board.
- Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
- Sieve or colander.
This bolognese style wild boar ragu or ragu al cinghiale is a delicious is simple meat sauce that is as good stirred through pasta as it is served on top of cheesy polenta.
- 250g (9oz) Minced Wild Boar
- 1 (35g) Shallot
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 4 Anchovy fillets
- 2 Tsp Fennel Seeds
- 375ml (½ Bottle) Red Wine
- 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
- 2 Tbsp Lard
- ¼-½ Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
- ¼ Tsp Black Pepper
- Parmesan Cheese for serving
- Parsley for serving
- 175g (6oz) Dry Pasta
- Dice the garlic and onion as finely as you can.
- Peel the shallot and dice it as finely as you can.
- Roughly chop the anchovy fillets.
- Melt the lard in a medium frying pan (24cm or 10") over a medium heat.
- When hot add the shallot and cook to soften for 3-4 minutes, if the shallots begin to colour reduce the temperature a little.
- Add the fennel seeds, tomato puree, garlic and anchovies and cook for another minute stirring continually.
- Turn the heat up to high and add the wild boar, stir and then cook until nicely browned all over, then season with the salt and pepper.
- Pour in the wine and reduce the heat to get a medium simmer and cook until the wine has created a thick meat sauce, this will take around 70-80 minutes.
- 10 minutes before you are ready to serve boil the pasta in well-salted water.
- Mix together adding as much of the pasta cooking liquid as required to coat the pasta.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 588Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 604mgCarbohydrates: 77gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 15g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.