In Italy, pasta ribbons are often topped with a wild boar sauce that's essentially a meaty, earthy stew. You can make a close facsimile with pork or with lamb (if you like a gamier taste), or a combination of the two. For another layer of flavor, serve over Herbed Wide Noodles (page 121 of the book) instead of pappardelle or garnish with Basil Gremolata (page 134).
Cut the meat into 1-inch pieces, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Coat the bottom of a 5-to 7-quart Dutch oven with a thin film of the oil and set pot over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add enough meat to cover bottom in 1 layer. Cook, without stirring, until meat lifts easily from pot with tongs and is well browned on bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn and brown on the other side, about 5 minutes more. Transfer meat to a plate and continue with remaining meat, adding more oil to pot in between batches as needed.
When last batch of meat has been removed, drain off all but about 1 tablespoon fat from pot. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until it renders most of its fat, about 1 minute. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and cook for 1 minute, stirring to release browned bits. Return meat and any accumulated juices to pot and stir in the paprika. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf and let come to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meat falls into shreds when pushed with the side of a spoon, about 2-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and let stand while you cook the pasta.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add pappardelle; cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain pappardelle and divide among pasta bowls. Stir the parsley into ragú, ladle over pasta, sprinkle with cheese, and serve.
This page created February 2008
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