I am really proud of this dish because I’d never tried pheasant before and came up with the recipe for the sauce etc. based on what I fancied that day 🙂
If you haven’t tried pheasant before, it tastes a lot like chicken to me (seriously!). It doesn’t have that distinct game flavour like quail for example, so the Italian flavours I’ve used work really well.
And the sauce turned out to be the best I’ve ever made! (in my modest opinion…)
- 2 pheasant breasts
- 250g fresh pappardelle
- 50g diced pancetta
- 100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
For the Sauce:
- 400g tin pomodorino cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato puree (I like Sacla intense tomato paste)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 100ml red wine
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- handful fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tbsp dried)
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil (or other), for shallow frying
- Make the sauce first. Heat the sunflower oil in a saucepan and add the onions. Fry over a low heat until they begin to caramelise. Add the garlic and dried basil, if using. Continue frying until the garlic and basil are fragrant. Deglaze with half the wine and reduce.
- Add the tinned tomatoes and tomato purée Cook uncovered over a medium-low heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring infrequently so the liquid is able to reduce. Meanwhile, fry up the pancetta and mushrooms ready to stir in at the end of step 3, before seasoning.
- Add the sugar, remaining wine and fresh basil (if you haven’t already used dried). Cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes more until the alcohol is cooked out and the sauce thickens up again. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- The rest is easy. Fry or grill the pheasant breasts for approximately 4 minutes per side and cook the pasta in boiling, salted water for about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta and add the the pan with the sauce. Heat everything up, pile on a plate and add pheasant. Voilà!