What kind dinner does one cook the night after a success such as my pizza? Bunnies!

Pappardelle with Rabbit Ragu

4 rabbit shoulders
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 anchovy
1 medium onion, diced
2 small carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
3 dried peperoncino, crushed
about 9-13 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
about 1 cup Chianti
1 can whole tomatoes
about 1 cup chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
pappardelle
Parmesano Reggiano



Rinse the rabbit pieces and pat them dry. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a pan over medium-high, add the oil, then add the rabbit. Cook, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the browned rabbit to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the anchovy, mashing it so it dissolves into the oil. Then add the onion, carrot and celery and cook until softened, another 5 minutes or so. Add the peperoncino, garlic and tomato paste, stirring for another minute. Then deglaze the pan with the wine, letting it boil and scraping up the browned bits. Add the canned whole tomatoes and their juice, the stock and the seasonings. After this comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rabbit is very tender, falling off the bones, about 2 1/2 hours. Turn the pieces occasionally during this time.

Remove the rabbit and bay leaves from the sauce. Once the rabbit is cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones, shredding it but leaving some larger pieces. Return the meat to the sauce and simmer until thickened, another 15 minutes or so. If the tomatoes haven't fallen apart on their own by now, crush them and break them into pieces with your spoon while the sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the pappardelle in boiling, salted water until it is a bit less than al dente. Add the pappardelle with some of its cooking water to the sauce, tossing until the pasta is coated with sauce and cooked to your liking. Top with grated Parmesan.

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