Wild Boar Ragu with Pappardelle



One of our favorite wine country chefs, Bob Hurley, features a wild game week annually at his restaurant.  His recipe for wild boar has been so popular it stays on the menu year round.  Chef Erika has adapted her own twist on this classic.











Ingredients for Ragu


4 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped

2 carrots, coarsely chopped

2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped

2 onions, coarsely chopped

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 boneless wild boar shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch chunks 

(approximately 3 pounds)

Kosher salt

1cup tomato paste

2 cups red wine

5 bay leaves

1 bundle fresh thyme



Ingredients for Pasta


1 pound fresh pappardelle pasta

Freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish


Ingredients for Lemon Vinaigrette


1/2  teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ teaspoon honey Dijon mustard

3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt, or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions for the Boar Ragu:


In a food processor, 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 and reserve.


Remove any excess oil in the pan. Add a few drops of new oil and add the pureed veggies to the pan. Season them with salt, and brown them until crust forms on the bottom of the pan. Scrape the crust off the bottom of the pan, using these scrapings as the base of your sauce.  Return the boar to the pan along with any drippings.  Stir to combine and cook the tomato paste for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. 


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 (it will). Bring the liquid to a boil; reduce to a simmer and let cook for 3 hours, adding water or stock 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 to create a thick sauce.



For the Pappardelle


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil 

4 quarts for every pound of pasta, the water should be as salty as seawater.  

Cook the pasta about 9-11 minutes, strain the pasta but do not rinse, as this will make it difficult for the ragu to stick to the noodles.   


Immediately divide the pasta into 4 shallow bowls

Spoon the ragu on top of the pasta and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve.  



Makes 4 servings





We would recommend serving this dish accompanied by a simple green salad with lemon vinaigrette and crusty bread.  Lemon Vinaigrette

Directions for Lemon Vinaigrette


In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, mustard, and fine sea salt, whisking until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly until the dressing is well blended. Season with fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. 


Wine Pairings

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Food Pairing List

Lagniappe Peak, Napa Valley