Orecchiette with Venison Ragout, Roasted Chestnuts and Butternut Squash

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Credit: Thomas Schauer

At db bistro moderne, my midtown Parisian-style bistro, I always like the menu to have a seasonal pasta where the meat, sauce, and pasta are all in tune. This recipe is a classic for the fall and is like a fortified version of Bolognese with the wonderful flavor of venison. Make sure to sear the pieces of meat before marinating and grinding. This way the sauce gets a nice roasted flavor and is not too gamey.

Using venison is an inexpensive way of incorporating delicious game meat into your menu, but you can also substitute lamb or beef if you wish. Orecchiette is made of only flour and water, so it has a great chewiness and bite. It is the perfect pasta because it’s easy to make; it doesn’t require a machine, you don’t have to be an expert to do it, and the little thumbprint cup you create in the dough perfectly captures the venison ragout.

Instructions

Step 1: Pasta Dough

In a large bowl, stir together the flours and salt. Transfer to a clean work surface and form a well in the center. Add the water to the well and, with a fork, gradually stir to incorporate the flour from the outside in.

Once the dough begins to form, knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

This recipe was originally published in "My Best Daniel Boulud" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits