Delicious in its simplicity it was hugely flavoursome. Washed down with a bottle of Barbera de Alba this was, to me, Autumnal Italy personified. The dish was simple – little chunks of boar’s meat and slices of chestnuts interleaving squares of chestnut pasta. A meaty, rich, sauce was drizzled around the pasta. The Italian translation I’m guessing would be something like “Pasta di castagne con ragu di cinghiale e castagno”
I enjoyed it so much I’ve been trying to recreate it since returning to damp, cloudy England. I’m not going to make chestnut pasta, and I’ve yet to discover an online retailer that sells it; so I substituted fresh lasagne egg pasta, cut into squares and boiled as you would with any pasta, until just cooked. In anticipation a little game stock was ‘created’ from left over woodcock bones, laced with red wine and thickened.
Boar’s meat is not that easy to locate either. A trial run of this recipe using meat from the local butchers Boar and Apple sausages was fine, a rather nice combination as it happened, but not really like the original. I brought a selection of game products from The Wild Meat Company last week; my selection included a couple of trays of freshly minced boars meat. No apple or other fillings to sully the flavour!
The recipe is simple – while the pasta is cooking the seasoned meat plus a hearty mix of Italian herbs is fried until cooked. Slide in a few sliced chestnuts to warm though. This mix is spread thinly between leaves of the pasta, the thickened sauce poured over and topped with a little parsley.
Recipe: Pasta with Boars Meat and Chestnuts
- lasagne pasta sheets cut in half about 4 per person
- minced boars meat
- Italian mixed dried herbs
- chopped parsley
- thick, rich, game sauce
- Fry the boars meat in olive oil along with plenty of seasoning and the herbs
- In a separate pan cook the pasta in boiling water
- Once the boars meat is cooked and beginning to brown add a handful of sliced chestnuts
- Serve the pasta in a layered stack with a small spoonful of the boars meat and a tiny spoonful of the sauce between each layer.
- Pour remaining sauce over and top with chopped parsley.