I had some leftover guinea fowl in the fridge and I thought I’d use it to make a ragu with some dried porcini that has been sitting in the pantry. The guinea fowl, being quite similar to rabbit, worked really well in the ragù. The meltingly tender meat, together with the porcini made a wonderfully flavoured, satisfying meal. It was pretty simple to make as well, just a bit of chopping and waiting for all the flavours to slowly come together over a low fire. If you can’t find guinea fowl, you can substitute with rabbit or pheasant.
- Yields: serves 2-3
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: approx. 90 minutes
- Active: 45 minutes
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 guinea fowl breasts, roasted and shredded (or other meat, such as rabbit)
- 250ml chicken stock
- 2 cups dried porcini mushrooms (soaked in 500ml water for an hour – reserve the soaking liquid)
- 100g oyster mushrooms
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- a handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 300g fresh egg fettuccine or pappardelle
- freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- ground black pepper
- Heat oil in a heavy cast-iron pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 of the crushed garlic cloves, celery, carrot, onion and season generously with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5 mins, stirring occasionally until the vegetables have softened.
- Add the guinea fowl, chicken stock and water used to soak the porcini. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and leave to cook for an hour.
- While the sauce is cooking, chop the porcini and oyster mushrooms. Heat the butter in a pan on medium heat, when it starts to bubble, add the remaining garlic and mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant, then stir in the parsley. Remove from heat and season to taste.
- Once the guinea fowl is tender and the sauce has reduced enough (there shouldn’t be too much liquid left, but the ragu should be saucy enough to coat the pasta), add the mushroom mixture to the main pot and simmer gently while you cook the fettuccine in salted boiling water (according to instructions on pack). Drain pasta and add to the ragù, tossing gently to combine (if you want a richer ragù you can add 2 tbsp butter to the sauce just before tossing in the pasta). Serve with some grated parmigiano.