Pappardelle with Venison Ragu

  • Active Time 40m
  • Total Time 16h 15m

Serves 4

Here, the venison is prepared in salmi, marinated with herbs, spices and red wine. Although pappardelle traditionally has straight sides, a ruffled edge can be made with a fluted pastry wheel, if you wish.


  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 4 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • 1/8 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 pound venison shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 celery stalk, quartered
  • 1 carrot, peeled and quartered
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1/2 recipe basic egg pasta dough or 1/2 pound purchased fresh or dried pappardelle
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • For Ragù:
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 fresh sage leaf
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (each) diced yellow onion, carrot and celery
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped plum (Roma) tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons dry Marsala wine
  • 2 1/2 cups meat stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Companion recipe: Basic Egg Pasta


Place the rosemary, sage, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, juniper berries and cloves on a square of cheesecloth (muslin). Bring the corners together and tie with kitchen string. Combine the venison, celery, carrot, onion, wine and cheesecloth bag In a shallow nonaluminum bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, make the basic pasta dough, if using. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, 1 twice as large as the other. Shape the large piece into a ball, cover with a bowl to prevent drying and set aside. Reserve the smaller piece for another use.

Remove the venison from the marinade, discarding the marinade. In a deep pot over high heat, melt the butter. Add the venison and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and set the meat and the pot aside.

FOR RAGU: Place the rosemary, sage, bay leaf and cinnamon stick on a square of cheesecloth and tie securely with kitchen string. Melt the butter over medium heat in the same pot.

Add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté until the onion and celery are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, cheesecloth bag and tomatoes. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add the venison and red wine and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the Marsala and continue to cook for 1 minute longer. Add the stock. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the venison is tender when pierced and about 2 cups of liquid remain, about 45-55 minutes.

Roll out the basic pasta dough, if using, 1/16 inch thick. Cut into noodles 3/4 inch wide. Gather loosely into small piles. Set aside to dry for at least 30 minutes.

When the sauce is ready, remove the venison using a slotted spoon. Set aside. Discard the cheesecloth bag. Ladle the vegetables into a food processor and purée.

Return to the pot. Bring to a simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the venison. Simmer until the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes.

Fill another deep pot 3/4 full with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta all at once and stir gently. Cook until al dente, about 2-3 minutes for fresh pasta and 6-8 minutes for dried. Drain quickly in a colander, then immediately transfer to a serving bowl.

Add the melted butter and toss well. Add the venison ragù and toss again. Serve immediately.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 643

nutrition information per serving

612 calories; 16g total fat; 127mg cholesterol; 133mg sodium; 59g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 38g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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