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Venison Bolognese Pappardelle with Kale and Vermont Shepherd Cheese Recipe



When possible, I like to use fresh pasta, which cooks very quickly and is less dense than dried pasta. Fresh pasta is available in most local markets. If you aren’t able to find fresh pappardelle, use Pasta Setaro, a very high-quality dried pasta.

Adapted from "Fresh from the Market" by Laurent Tourondel and Charlotte March.


For the sage oil:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup fresh sage leaves

For the bolognese:

  • Two 28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound venison stew meat, coarsely ground
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups finely diced onion
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 bouquet garni (1 dark green leek leaf, 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, 2 fresh thyme sprigs, 4 fresh sage leaves, 1 bay leaf)
  • 1 cup heavy cream

For the kale:

  • ½ bunch kale, leaves sliced into ½-inch strips (about 8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup finely diced shallots
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic

For the pasta:

  • 1 pound fresh spinach and egg pappardelle
  • ¾ cup grated Vermont Shepherd Farm’s cheese (or another raw sheep’s milk cheese)


For the sage oil:

Purée the oil and sage leaves in a blender until smooth. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Line the strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth. Scrape the sage purée into the strainer and let stand until all of the oil has drained into the bowl, about 1 hour. Discard the solids from the strainer.

For the bolognese:

Drain both cans of tomatoes into a strainer set over a large bowl; reserve the juice. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and place them in the bowl with the juice.

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until nearly smoking. Add the venison and sear until brown, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to coat the vegetables, and cook for 3 minutes. Deglaze with the wine and continue to cook over medium-high heat until the wine has reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the sugar, and bouquet garni. Gently simmer uncovered over low heat until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened, about 45 minutes. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper and remove the bouquet garni.

For the kale:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer the kale to a bowl of ice water. Once cool, remove the kale from the water and squeeze out any excess water.

Melt the butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Once the butter begins to foam, add the shallots and garlic and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the kale and sauté until all the water has cooked out and the kale is tender, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the kale to the Bolognese sauce.

For the pasta:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pappardelle and cook, stirring frequently, until the pappardelle is al dente. Drain the pasta.

To serve, divide the pasta among 6 warm bowls. Stir the cream into the Bolognese sauce and spoon the sauce over the pasta. Drizzle with the sage oil and top with the grated cheese.

Wine suggestion

Pair this dish with a Cabernet Franc from North Fork of Long Island that offers aromas of black cherries, earth, and a touch of gaminess, such as Cabernet Franc, Pellegrini Vineyards, 2004, North Fork of Long Island, New York.