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Oct 23, 2005 05:42 PM

Piedmont pasta with braised rabbit

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I made a Piedmont all-yolk pasta yesterday with a braised rabbit sauce and thought I'll share my labors of love with you fellow chowcooks.

The pasta is a big undertaking, so I don't make it too often, but the rabbit sauce is easy and really wonderful (if you don't mind eating small furry animals).

Here is the rough recipe:

1 rabbit
2 slices pancetta, diced
2 medium carrots, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
4 garlic cloves (1 mashed, and 3 whole)
2 Tbsp chopped rosemary and sage
1 large can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup dry white wine
2-3 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf

Quarter the rabbit and seared it in olive oil in a dutch oven or a braising pot. Remove to a plate and season with salt and pepper.

In the same pot, cook pancetta until fat is rendered. Remove to a small bowl and set aside.

Add onions, carrots, celery, and whole garlic cloves, and cook until tender and golden brown (add some olive oil if needed). Add tomatoes, mashed garlic, herbs, wine, and 2 cups chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Season to taste.

Return rabbit and pancetta to the pot. Add bay leaf and more chicken stock if necessary to cover the rabbit. Cover and braise in the middle of the oven for 2 hours.

Let stand until it's cool enough to handle. Debone and flake the rabbit meat and return it back to the pot. Serve over pasta.


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  1. Sounds very wonderful. I just can't get myself into the mood to make my own pasta. I've done it several times (mostly in the first week after I bought a hand-cranked pasta machine) but just didn't take to it.

    I love braised rabbit. Reminds me of reading in a Let's Go Guide (put out by "Harvard students") that one should not miss trying "Bunny Pate" while in France. The kind of folks that serve "Roast Bambi".

    Thanks for the bunny recipe.

    1 Reply
    1. re: oakjoan
      A Fish Called Wanda

      I used to love Let's Go Guides when I was in college! I agree that making your own pasta is a bit of an ordeal. I still enjoy it, but I only do it a few times a year. The rabbit sauce taste great on store bought pasta too, over gnocchi, or just like a stew with good bread.


    2. Glad to see I'm not the only bunny-eater on this here list. I did manage to get some hare at a place in Pisa, and rabbit in Florence, on a journey we made twelve years ago, but I grew up eating the wild ones my dad shot and brought home back in Illinois. More lately, I found some nice big Chinese-raised ones at the Latino market down the road (Damn, I love LA!!) and was able to satisfy a friend's craving (and mine, after she'd told me about it) for the Lapin au Moutarde that she just missed being able to eat in Paris a month before.

      My mom's two ways of cooking it were both braises: the classic Hasenpfeffer, and a method of flouring, browning, then braising in its own gravy that she used, to wonderful effect, with all small game. Though I haven't done that one yet, I know it'd be amazing over papardelle, too.

      1. Fine job. Almost made me hungry and I just finished a six course meal. I love any form of ragu and nothing better than good rich pasta to go with it. Do you use a soft flour or just AP? Did you think the meat from the legs turned out better than the loin meat? I was wondering if it would be worthwhile to break down the rabbit to use the loin for a shorter cooked dish and then use the rest for the ragu.

        Oh and it looks perfectly sauced as well.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Nathan P.
          A Fish Called Wanda

          I use AP flour and it works fine. I like legs of any annimal more than the white meat :) But in the braise, even the white meat came out incredibly tender, and once you mix it all up, it's all good.


        2. Thanks so much for posting this. The photo is lovely. Lately I've had a hankering for rabbit prepared just this way. You saved me the trouble of figuring out a recipe.

          Rabbit is wonderful with polenta, too, and I'll probably serve yours that way.

          Shall I tell about the Easter dinner of southern-fried rabbit that I prepared many long years ago? The reaction to rabbit for Easter was a bit...much.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cristina
            A Fish Called Wanda

            Rabbit for Easter... You make me feel like a politically correct person now :) And I was a little worried that the idea of eating rabbit would be badly recieved.


          2. That looks like the perfect fall supper. Your all-yolk pasta looks so silky, and the rich coloring makes it look like there's saffron in it. I have never tried rabbit before but have been wanting to for some time now, and your recipe gives me incentive to search for some bunny locally...thanks.