Wild Boar Ragu Bolognese

Homemade pasta
Xsandra / Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
Overnight refrigeration: 12 hrs
Total: 14 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
767 Calories
54g Fat
27g Carbs
33g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 767
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 54g 69%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 108mg 36%
Sodium 590mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 24mg 122%
Calcium 202mg 16%
Iron 5mg 29%
Potassium 1376mg 29%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Wild boar ragu is one of the most popular dishes in Italian restaurants, and it's usually served with pasta or polenta. If your grocery store or butcher doesn't carry it (they may be able to order it with three or four days notice), wild boar is available online. It is a little more expensive than organic pork. Wild boar has an intensely delicious flavor and is worth spending a bit extra for an extra-special dinner. This recipe is simple to prepare and is similar to Bolognese ragu. If you buy a wild boar shoulder, it will need to marinate overnight, as instructed below.

Ragu is a winter dish. Making a ragu is like playing jazz. You have to be creative, tasteful, and able to adapt to the circumstances. The beauty of ragu is that everybody is free to develop their own. Aside from meat and tomatoes, you can basically add whichever other spices and ingredients appeal to you. 


  • 1 pound wild boar shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, or 1 pound ground wild boar

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 1/4 cups red wine

  • 2 medium stalks celery, diced

  • 2 medium carrots, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 2 medium bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh sage

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes

  • 1 cup whole milk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Put the diced wild boar in a nonreactive bowl. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

  3. Add the wine, half of the diced celery and carrot, the smashed garlic cloves, sage, rosemary, and bay leaves to the bowl.

  4. Reserve and refrigerate the remaining celery and carrot. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate the wild boar overnight.

  5. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the wild boar to paper towels to drain. Remove the garlic cloves and chop.

  6. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot, then add the onion and reserved celery and carrot and garlic and sauté until softened, 5 minutes.

  7. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the carrots and celery in the marinade to the pot, and sauté another 5 minutes.

  8. Add the wild boar to the pot, and brown on all sides, then stir in the wine and herbs from the marinade.

  9. Increase the heat to high, and let the wine reduce 7 to 8 minutes, then stir in the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and red pepper flakes.

  10. Lower the heat, and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the boar is tender. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if desired.

  11. Stir in the milk, and simmer the ragu another 30 minutes. Serve with a flat pasta like pappardelle and grated Parmesan.