It’s rare that something I cooked myself will bring me to tears. Unless I’ve ruined it. But in this case, my tears welled up at the first bite of this pappardelle with pork rib ragu because it brought back a flood of happy memories in Tuscany, sipping incredible wine and enjoying plates of pasta and cinghiale, wild boar. Since I lack any connections to wild boar hunters at the moment, this is probably the closest I’ll get to pappardelle al cinghiale in my kitchen. The recipe is easy, in that it doesn’t require any fancy technique, but it does require a good 3 hours to slowly braise the ribs in red wine until the meat falls off the bone. It’s even better if you can let it rest overnight, letting the flavors meld, and just re-heat for the final seasoning with balsamic vinegar and tossing with the pasta the next day. Goes nicely with a Tuscan dry red like Sangiovese, Montepulciano red, or Brunello di Montepulciano. Enjoy!
If you’ve ever been to Tuscany, you know that the sunlight is different there. It splashes amber rays across the hills and cypress trees, tingles on your skin like warm honey, soaks the edges of your vision in a fuzzy golden hue. It’s as if the sky is determined to set Tuscany’s beauty aglow, drenching it in pure, 100 percent, unfiltered sunshine.
I love reliving that Tuscan sunshine in my own kitchen using the best sun-ripened tomatoes I can find, especially at the height of summer. Continue reading