Barbecued Quail and Pasta Recipe
Quail are a small game bird and they are all dark meat. If you prefer you can use cornish game hens in this recipe.
This recipe for barbecued quail is an adaptation of a recipe that was in the Sunset cookbook “Fresh Ways with Pasta” that came out in 1990.
If you cannot find fresh or frozen quail or do not like quail you can use Cornish game hens for this recipe. Quail are all dark meat and they will cook in about 10 minutes. You will serve the quail with pappardelle which is a wide fettuccine. You can use fresh or dry pappardelle. You can also use wide egg noodles.
- 2 ounces sliced pancetta that you have diced. (You can also use bacon)
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 thinly sliced onion
- 8 quartered mushrooms
- 2 minced cloves of garlic
- 6 medium Roma tomatoes that have been chopped
- ¼ cup slivered fresh sage leaves or 2 teaspoons dry sage
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 8 quail
- Coarsely ground pepper
- 1 8 ounce package dry pappardelle or 10 to 12 ounces fresh pappardelle
- Fresh sage sprigs
- Lemon Wedges
- In a wide frying pan cook pancetta (bacon) over medium heat until crisp. Take out and drain then set to the side. To the drippings add ¼ cup oil, onion and mushrooms. Put heat at medium high and cook, stir often, until the mushrooms are lightly browned (5 minutes). Stir in garlic, tomatoes, slivered sage and wine. Boil mixture gently. Cook uncovered stirring occasionally until tomatoes are soft and sauce is thickened a little (10 to 15 minutes).
- While cooking sauce cut through the backbone of each quail with shears or knife. Lace the quail skin side up on a flat surface; press down firmly to crack the bones a little until the quail lie flat. Rinse the quail and pat dry. Brush the quail on both sides with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with pepper.
- Place the quail skin side up on a greased grill 4 to 6 inches above the bed of coals. Cook turning occasionally until the skin is browned and the breast meat is still pink at the bone (8 to 10 minutes). Remove from the grill and keep warm.
- In a 5 to 6 quart pan cook the pasta in 3 quarts of boiling water until pasta is barely tender (3 to 4 minutes for dry pappardelle or about 2 minutes for fresh pappardelle. If you use noodles cook them 4 to 6 minutes. Drain well.
- Add pasta to tomato sauce mixture and add salt to taste. Mix sauce and pasta slightly. Put on a warm platter and put the grilled quail around the pasta. Garnish with sage sprigs and lemon wedges.
Cornish Game Hens Directions:
If you use Cornish game hens get 2 to 4 hens. Remove the necks and giblets. Rinse the hens and pat them dry. Cut each hen in half cutting trough the back and breast bone. Brush each piece with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper. Now grill them over medium coals. Turn several times and check to make sure the meat near the thighbone is not pink (30 to 40 minutes). Put the game hens on a platter around the pasta.