Not-a-Boar Meat Sauce and Pasta

Can’t find wild boar in your neighborhood? Neither can Rachael! She created this “fake-out” dish instead.


  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta or broken curly-edge lasagna noodles
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs thyme, stems discarded and leaves finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 pinches ground cloves or allspice
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (eyeball it)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.

While the pasta is working, in a Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat, until smoking. Add the pork and beef and cook, stirring, until browned, 10-12 minutes. Stir in the carrot, onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, cocoa and cloves; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute, then stir in the wine. Stir in the chicken stock and milk, lower the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.

Stir the pasta into the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes more. Stir in the cheese, to coat. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls.

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