Pappardelle with Rabbit

For this recipe you can also use beef, venison, wild boar and even pigeon or hare. In Italy, if a family has to feed eight people out of[ this, then they would cook more pasta and add a little more water — as always, a little meat can go a long way.]

Total Time:
4 hr 5 min
20 min
3 hr 45 min

4 servings

  • 1 pound 12 ounces (800 grams) rabbit joints, seasoned
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh rosemary and fresh thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 wineglasses Chianti
  • 2 (14-ounce/400 gram) tins plum tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons pearl barley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 ounces (400 grams) fresh or dried pappardelle
  • 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) butter
  • 2 handfuls grated Parmesan

In a hot casserole-type pan fry your rabbit in a little olive oil until golden brown then add your herbs, onions, garlic, carrot and celery. Turn the heat down and continue to fry for 5 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Add your red wine and continue to simmer until the liquid has almost cooked away but left you with a fantastic colour and fragrance.

Add the plum tomatoes, the pearl barley and just enough water to cover the meat by 1/2-inch/1cm. Make yourself a cartouche of greaseproof paper, wet it under the tap, rub it with a little olive oil and place it over the pan. Put a lid on the pan as well, as this will retain as much moisture as possible while cooking. Cook on a really low heat for about 2 to 3 hours. It's ready when you can literally push the meat off the bone and it will flake away in tender strands. At this point season carefully with salt and pepper, to taste, and allow to cool slightly before removing the meat from the pan. Using 2 forks, pull apart all the lovely pieces of meat, throwing away any skin and bones. Put the meat back in the pan on a low heat.

It's now ready to serve, so cook your pappardelle in a pan of boiling, salted water for 3 minutes, if using fresh pasta, and according to the packet instructions if using dried. Once it's cooked, drain it in a colander, saving some of the cooking liquid in case the sauce needs a little loosening. Remove the stewed rabbit from the heat and stir in the butter and Parmesan with a little of the cooking water – this will make it juicy and shiny. Toss together with your pasta and serve immediately.

(c) Jamie Oliver 2002

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