EXCLUSIVE: Wild Boar Ragu Recipe from Chef Rachael Polhill of Dante

NYC’s Caffe Dante opened all the way back in 1915 – and was, for decades, a go-to hang for the city’s louche, bohemian literary and artistic types. Indeed, over the years its seats held everyone from Patti Smith to Al Pacino to Lana Del Rey.

But perhaps recognizing that more people photograph food now than actually read books, Dante got a makeover in 2015 – dropping the “Caffe,” but preserving the boho charm. And with Aussie chef Rachael Polhill helming the kitchen, delectable sourdough flatbreads, housemade pastas and piatto di formaggi have replaced the dog-eared copies of The Dharma Bums on the tabletops.


One of our faves is the papardelle with wild boar ragu – which is apparently also a conscientious dinner choice.

“This bowl of pasta in particular is so special because I was challenged to use wild boar,” the chef tells us, “which is an unconventional ingredient. Interestingly enough, boar is beneficial to cook and eat because they are serious contributors to agricultural degradation. Environmentally conscious and delicious, it’s a winter staple on the Dante menu.”

Here she let’s us in on the particular magic that goes into her recipe.

Rachael Polhill’s Wild Boar Ragu

2# wild boar stew meat
2 tbsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp ground coriander
Season the meat liberally with the spices and salt. Brown the meat in a saute pan until browned and transfer into a casserole or braising dish.
100g yellow onion
100g carrots
100g celery
3 cloves of garlic
250ml red wine
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 Bay leaf
1 qt Chicken stock
Add chicken stock
Peel and roughly chop all the vegetables. Blend in the food processor until it becomes a paste. Cook the paste in a saute pan on medium heat with a little oil, stirring, until it starts to caramelise 8-10 mins. Add red wine and reduce by half, pour over the meat, along with the chicken stock, bay leaf and tomatoes.
Braise for 2.5 – 3hrs at 300 degrees F.
Serve with pappadelle, ideally home made, but if not allow 80-100g per person.
Finish with lost of chopped italian parsley and parmesan cheese.
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