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Sun dried Tomatoes

Tomato Passata sauce, part 1

Tomato Passata sauce, part 2

A man’s game.

Chocolate tagliatelle pasta served with a spicy wild board sauce

After about three months the hunting season is now almost over and most of the Allerona’s hunters will  have their freezers full of wild boar meat and jugs of sauces to go with this meat have been prepared and are ready to use. But what is the story of  this old tradition? Living in the countryside has given me the opportunity to learn a little bit more about it.

It goes like this , starting at the crack of dawn  teams of men set out to play their game, all wearing similar green outfits,  guns tucked under their arms and sniffer dogs at their heels. At the end of the day when the hunt is over they will each divide and share their meat . This is worked in rotation so each member of the team gets a selection of different pieces. Then it’s time to party, they barbeque some sausages, have a few bruschetta‘s, some homemade wine and sweet biscuits which have been made by their wives / mothers . Game over.

However back home as a result of the husbands / sons day trip the wives / mothers spend hours and hours chopping, cleaning, cooking ,freezing preserving  this blessed wild boar!
It can be cooked and preserved in many different ways:  tomato sauce and wild board is great with Pappardelle pasta, or a rich sauce “in bianco” meaning without tomatoes. It can also be cooked in a sweet and sour way ,or sometimes in chocolate or even spiced for fresh or dried sausages . After all this hard work all this great food will be kept in jugs and freezers or in the case of the sausages hung up to dry in the cantine .These wonderful delights will also be shared with family and friends to enjoy.

A few days ago I went to see my friend Elena. She spends and enjoys the majority of her days in the kitchen, which she calls “my temple.” Surrounded by knives, containers, jugs and spices, Elena gave me a tired look and says  “ciccia, sono giorni che vedo solo ciccia”which very very loosely translated means “meat nothing but bloody meat for days on end, if they carry on like this I will go on strike !” So after a strong cup of coffee  I pulled up my sleeves and with a knife I started to help her.

What a great day I had ,as usual I learned a lot from my friend, cutting techniques, traditional recipes and methods of preservation. Not only that, I also came home with a fantastic piece of fresh wild boar as a gift!

After marinating my precious meat overnight in white wine and herbs, I decided that instead of using the chocolate in the wild boar sauce,  I’d use this unsweetened confectionary in the pasta dough.

Nick Cornish picures for Sagraincasa

Nick Cornish picures for Sagraincasa

Nick Cornish picures for Sagraincasa

Nick Cornish picures for Sagraincasa

After an hour the tagliatelle was ready, the sauce was rich and tasty and ready to join the Tagliatelle in the pan.

What a great feast we had, every ingredient in the dish it had its own story. The wild boar and the hunters, Elena and I doing our bit in the kitchen and Nick who kindly took the pictures of the pasta making.

So ciao ciao for now and arrivederci from Allerona, this beautiful little piece of my countryside world.

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