Tagliatelle with Venison Ragu, topped with Shaved Le Gruyère

Tagliatelle with Venison Ragu, Topped with Shaved Le Gruyère by Martyn Watkins from Laksa Shack

A hearty Italian dish by Martyn Watkins from Laksa Shack with delicious venison from Lincolnshire Game topped with shaved world-award-winning Le Gruyère.


Serves 4

  • 400g tagliatelle pasta
  • 500g venison cut into small chunks (shoulder preferably)
  • 1 onion (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 2 carrots (cleaned and finely chopped)
  • 1-2 celery stalk (cleaned and finely chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (peeled)
  • 200ml dry white wine
  • 200ml red wine
  • 200ml water or game stock
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 juniper berries
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Salt for pasta and to taste
  • 300g tomato passata
  • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 200g Le Gruyère


  1. Cut the venison into cubes and marinate in white wine for 2-3 hours.
  2. Finely chop the carrots, celery and onion.
  3. Heat oil in in a deep-frying pan or skillet, fry the peeled garlic clove until it starts to brown slightly. Add the vegetables.
  4. Once the vegetables start to soften, remove the venison from the white wine and add it to the pan. Cook for a few minutes, turning the meat to make sure it browns on all sides.
  5. Turn up the heat and add the red wine.
  6. Allow the alcohol to evaporate slightly then add the juniper berries, cinnamon, cloves, ground black pepper and bay leaves. Alternatively, add these herbs and spices into a herb sachet and place it in the pan to remove when the sauce is ready.
  7. Add the tomato passata and chopped tomatoes.
  8. Stir and cover, then cook over a very low heat for about 3 hours, taking care that it does not dry out too much. If necessary, add water, game stock or more red wine and stir occasionally.
  9. While cooking, add salt as desired.
  10. Put a pot of water on and bring to the boil. Add salt when it starts to boil.
  11. Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the packet. When the pasta is cooked, save a cup of the cooking water and drain.
  12. If the ragu seems dry, add some of the saved pasta cooking water.
  13. Return the pasta to the pan you cooked it in and add some of the venison ragu. Mix well and plate with more ragu on top. Serve immediately with shaved aged Le Gruyère.

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