For the second week of our Italian vacation, we used the charming town Radda in Chianti as our base for exploring the hill towns of Tuscany. We would be tourists during the day, but in the evening would return to our "home town" Radda for our apero and dinner. One evening, we dined at the Ristorante Botte di Bacco.
For my main course, I chose a primo piatto, Blueberry Pasta with Cinghiale-Chianti Sauce. Now you can see from the picture that it was not the prettiest dish I've ever had put in front me, bless its little heart, but I gotta say, it was one of the best, if not the very best dish I had in Italy.
I had seen the blueberry pasta in another nearby town, but hadn't ordered it. It must be a VERY local item. I asked my friend (and Tuscan cooking instructor) Judy Witts Francini about it, and she had never heard of blueberry pasta. This isn't unusual in Italy (or France or Spain either, for that matter). Some menu items are just VERY local.
Cinghiale is the wild boar that populates the hills of Tuscany and during the fall can found on pretty much every menu around, perhaps as a sort of stew. Or it might be in a tomato-based pasta sauce, usually served on pici, a regional thick and chewy spaghetti.
For this sauce, the ground boar meat was simmered with Chianti wine and herbs. Then a very reduced drizzle of Chianti wine was drizzled around the edges, garnished with sangiovese grapes warmed in the reduction.
I'm going to try to reproduce this (although I'll have to use ground pork for the wild boar) and if I'm successful, I'll share it with you!