Wild Boar Lasagna
The base of this lasagna is a wild boar Sugo. As wild boar can be difficult to come by in some areas, ground pork and/or veal or beef can be substituted. Sugo is a meat sauce made primarily with stock (instead of tomato) so it makes for a lighter and “meatier” lasagna than the typical bolognese base which is rich in tomatoes.
The wild boar Sugo is spread out in layers between the cooked pasta sheets and the three cheeses (Basil-Ricotta, Mozzarella and Parmesan). In the photo above, we are making two large pans of lasagna at the Villa in Tuscany for 20 people. The recipe below is for a 9”x13” baking dish and will serve 8 people.
Pasta machines make quick work out of rolling dough into thin sheets and then cutting them into a large variety of pasta shapes. There are numerous attachments available for the machine including a ravioli maker. An electric motor can also be added to make the process even easier if you find yourself using the machine often. They are also great for making crackers, scallion pancakes for Peking Duck and wonton skins for thin skinned dim sums.
Wild Boar LasagnaCourse: PastaCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium
1 batch egg pasta (see “Pasta 101” post)
3 cups ricotta cheese
1 large egg
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Wild Boar Sugo (recipe below)
- Wild Boar Sugo
3 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
1 pound coarsely ground lean wild boar (or pork, veal, beef)
1/2 cup red wine
6 oz tomato paste
28 oz diced tomatoes
3 cups brown boar stock (or pork, veal or beef broth)
1 bay leaf
- To make the pasta sheets, prepare the dough as explained in the “Pasta 101” post, roll out to setting 5, and cut the sheet into pieces to fit a 9”x13” baking dish. Three layers are needed. Dust the sections with semolina and lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet dusted with semolina. Drop in large open of boiling salted water to cook for 1 minute. Remove from the water and spread out to cool. Reserve.
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, egg, basil, salt and pepper.
- Brush a 9”x13” baking dish with olive oil.
- Spread 2 cups of the Wild Boar Sugo in the baking dish. Top with a layer of the fresh pasta, 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese. Repeat 2 more times, creating 3 layers.
- Bake the lasagna, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove cover, and bake an additional 30 minutes.
- Allow the lasagna to sit for 15 minutes before serving.
- Wild Boar Sugo
- Soak the mushrooms in 2 cups hot water for 20 minutes, drain (reserving the liquid) and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat and add the diced onions, carrot and celery. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the pancetta and cook in for 2 minutes. Add the ground wild boat meat and stir, breaking up the clumps, until lightly browned.
- Pour in the red wine and cook for 5 minutes, or until it has nearly evaporated.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring now and then.
- Add the diced tomatoes, stock, reserved mushroom liquid and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour.
- Add the chopped porcini mushrooms and continue to simmer the sauce for another hour.
- Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.