Woo Pig Sooie! If it were up to me, the University of Arkansas football team would be called the Cinghiali instead of the Razorbacks. Of course, I’d let them keep their battle cry, mainly because it’s got a nice ring to it when yelled in unison by a crowd of 80,000 coeds. Brilliant idea I know, but you tell me, I have a feeling the idea would fly in Arkansas only when pigs do.
Throughout Tuscany, wild boars roam the hills, and even the streets in some small towns, especially in La Maremma, along the coast. During the fall, you can hear the early morning shotgun blasts, and at night you can eat the savage pig with fresh pappardelle and a hearty glass of Brunello di Montalcino. And all will be right with the world.
If you can’t swing a trip to Tuscany, then find some American razorback, fresh pasta, and a fine Chianti, and enjoy it at home in front of a football game. And all will be right with the world. Woo Cinghiale Sooie!
For the Marinade: Place the boar into a bowl large enough to hold it, plus 3 cups liquid. Add the red wine and red wine vinegar, the garlic (chopped or crushed), the rosemary and some salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
For the Sauce:
If using fresh tomatoes, blanche them in boiling water, and then immediately place in cold water. Remove the skins and seeds. Place them in a blender or food mill until puree.
Remove the boar from the marinade and cut into small pieces. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the boar. Cook it over a medium heat for a few minutes until it renders liquid. Remove from heat and place the boar in a colander so that the liquid drips away.
Dice the onion, celery and garlic and pancetta into small pieces. In a large pot, saute the onion and celery in olive oil until translucent, then add the garlic and the pancetta and cook until lightly golden. Add the boar and stir for a minute or two, and then add the red wine. After a couple of minutes, add the tomato puree, tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 hours, stirring regularly, until thickened. (If too thick, add a bit of water or beef broth.)
Cook the pappardelle until al dente, drain it and add it to the boar sauce. Heat for a couple of minutes and serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmigiano.
Ed Garrubbo, Editor