Pasta transports me to time we spent in Italy. The scenery, the wine, and of course the food. This Wild Boar Bolognese is a classic Tuscan dish that serves up big flavor and memories of a European vacation all in one delicious dish!
Several years ago, we were lucky enough to take a dream vacation to Tuscany. Now, we’ve been very fortunate to travel quite a bit over our military career (living in Europe for awhile certainly made that easier). However, we didn’t made it to Tuscany while living on that side of the pond. It remained on our list as a “some day” destination. We finally made it, and now I sigh deeply every time I see pictures of the Tuscan country side. It really is magical.
One of the multitude of things that we loved about that particular trip was discovering that Chianti–the wine– isn’t supposed to taste like feet. Really! It’s supposed to be GOOD! That bottle the table at bad Italian restaurants (the one wrapped in basket-like twine) isn’t what Chianti is supposed to taste like. We were introduced to good Chianti. And I mean REALLY good Chianti. We were schooled about what is required for wines to be certified in that appellation, and what foods went best with this particular blend. Upon return, we were suddenly on the lookout for not only the wines that we knew we’d now enjoy, but recipes that would pair perfectly with this particular Italian wine.
Because Tuscany is steeped in regional traditions like all other regions in that beautiful country, we learned that Tuscan food is simple. Hearty. Flavorful. And very seasonal. In particular, we were told that dishes featuring wild boar were particularly “Tuscan”. And since we were all about immersing ourselves in that tradition, we had to find a way to bring that feeling back with us.
Luckily for us, living in Texas allows us ease of access to wild boar. It’s a very common feral animal on ranches big and small around here. When prepared properly, it is one of our absolute favorite meats. No, seriously. It is rich, clean, and so delicious. I made sure I grabbed a package of ground boar at the local farmer’s market from our favorite vendor (we get lots of great stuff from them like these Goat Ribs we had recently), and I was ready for the kitchen! Never mind that it’s over 100 degrees outside–I wanted to relive that trip, and I would not be denied!
This simple and unbelievably rich, satisfying meal of Wild Boar Bolognese took me right back to Tuscany. If I get back there in person, I may not return!
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