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Pappardelle alla lepre

Pappardelle are a typical Tuscan dish, so typical Boccaccio was already mentioning these «lasagne cooked in broth and seasoned especially with hare meat». Yet it was indeed Maremma, according to Aldo Santini (Storie di Maremma, Orme Tarka, Lit Edizioni, 2013) that made pappardelle famous. Was this perhaps due to the fact the abundance of game allowed to enhance pappardelle alla lepre in the best way? Andrea Zanfi, for instance, in his book  Maremma in pentola recalls the old name of «pappardelle sulla lepre» [pappardelle on top of the hare], explaining how it perhaps derives from the fact that it was once easier to find hare, over here, than eggs or flour, as eggs were traded and flour was hard to find because mills were owned by land owners. According to some cooking historians, in any case, pappardelle alla lepre arrived in Maremma with woodcutters, coal miners and other seasonal workers who would arrive from the mountains around Florence and Pistoia during the winter. They often ended up marrying girls from Maremma and stay for good, teaching them the dishes from the villages they came from.

Ingredients for  4 people

Marinade

1/2 bottle of  Morellino di Scansano
vinegar
bay leaves and rosemary
1 carrot
1 celery stick
1 onion with garlic cloves

Leave the hare to marinate in the wine and herbs for 12 hours so as to get the extra flavour while eliminating the smell of game. Rinse with water and vinegar and dry.

For the pappardelle with hare sauce

400 gr of fresh egg pappardelle
1 hare
1 onion
1 celery stick
2 carrot
extra virgin olive oil
100 gr peeled tomatoes
1/2 glass of  Morellino di Scansano
meat stock
salt and pepper to taste
bay leaves

Chop onions, carrots and celery and fry them with extra virgin olive oil in a casserole tin. Add the hare previously cut into piece and sear it. Leave a few minutes then add wine, tomato and bay leaves, season with salt and pepper and leave on a small flame for around 3 hours. If necessary, add some stock. When the cooking si completed, remove the bones and put just the meat back into the casserole tin. Cook the pappardelle in lots of salted water. 2 minutes are enough for them to be al dente, the toss the pappardelle with the hare sauce.

Wine pairings

Given the complexity of the dish, pappardelle alla lepre are perfectly matched with full bodied red wines. Here our our recommendations.

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