Rabbits are cute, furry, and make great pets. My favorite part of them is the Bourdain rule: If you are dumber than me, slower than me, and taste great then pass the salt. This dish is proof of that.
Oh yeah and for the record to shock everyone no pork was harmed in this recipe.
For this dish you will need:
- 1 rabbit cut into 6 pieces
- 1 onion finely diced
- 1 stalk of celery finely diced
- 1 carrot finely diced
- 3 cloves of garlic finely diced
- 8 ounces of mushrooms cut into a larger dice (I used baby bellas)
- 1 TB of tomato paste
- 1 cup of dry red wine (I used a chianti)
- 1 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes
- 2 TB of diced basil
- 1 stem of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
- 1 TB of unsalted butter
- 4 TB of extra virgin olive oil
- All-purpose flour
- Pappardelle pasta (if you can’t find it fettuccini could work but look harder)
- Couple TB of chopped parsley for garnish
- 1/4 cup of grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Season the rabbit with salt and pepper. Next, dredge the rabbit in all-purpose flour and shake the excess off. In a large pan over medium-heat add in the extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil is hot add in the rabbit pieces and brown all over (about 5 minutes a side).
Once the rabbit has been browned, remove the rabbit, drain all the fat but 1 TB and add in the onion, celery, and carrot with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook till softened (about 5 minutes).
Lower the heat to medium and add in the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the mushrooms till softened (about 5 minutes). Add in the garlic and cook for another minute.
Increase the heat back to medium-high and add in the TB tomato paste and stir around for another minute.
Add in the cup of red wine, bring to a boil, scrape the bottom of the pan, and reduce by 1/2 (about 5 minutes).
Add the whole tomatoes, thyme, basil, bay leaf, crushed red pepper, and browned rabbit back to the pan. Bring the mixture up to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Let it cook till the meat is falling off the bone (about 2 hours). I also flipped the rabbit after an hour.
Cook the pappardelle according to the directions in heavily salted water. Strain the pasta and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
Once the meat is falling off the bone remove it from the sauce. Add in the TB of unsalted butter to the sauce and let the sauce continue to simmer uncovered.
Shred the meat from the bones and discard the bones.
Add the pappardelle and the meat back into the sauce. Add in some of reserved pasta cooking liquid to thin out the sauce slightly (I used about 1/2 cup).
Serve with the chopped parsely and some parmigiano-reggiano cheese. As a public safety announcement there is a chance of very small bones being present so be careful.