CLASSIC pasta pappardelle with rabbit (hare)








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This is probably the second most famous classic pappardelle presentation in Tuscany, after boar. Hare, which is not rabbit, is the Tuscan choice, but rabbit will substitute. This is a wonderfully tasty and hearty dish adapted from maestro Giuliano Bugialli's "On Pasta". (see library)

for the sauce:

  • one rabbit, or hare: skinned and cleaned with bones in
  • one half cup olive oil
  • two cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • two stalks celery
  • two medium carrots
  • one medium-large onion, red preferred
  • parsley, about one quarter cup, chopped
  • several fresh sage leaves (see note)
  • one-half tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine (see note)
  • two bay leaves
  • four ounces of pancetta or prosciutto
  • one cup dry red wine
  • one 28-ounce can imported Italian plum tomatoes
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • one tablespoon butter

If the rabbit comes with a liver, set it aside. See "liver option" below.

note: in the winter, if fresh herbs are not available, a quarter teaspoon of powdered sage and a quarter teaspoon rosemary will substitute.

for the pasta:

Put the skinned rabbit in a saute pan, and heat, covered, for three minutes. Then rinse the rabbit in cold water and pat dry.

Dice the celery, roughly, and the carrot and onion. Cut the pancetta or prosciutto into very small pieces. Mix all the ingredients: garlic, celery, carrots, onion, parsley, rosemary, sage and pancetta together.

In a heavy casserole, add the olive oil over a medium heat and, when quite warm, add the herb/vegetable/pancetta mixture. Add the bay leaves. Saute for ten minutes.

Cut the rabbit into three pieces and add it to the casserole. Saute for fifteen more minutes, stirring and turning as needed. Add salt and pepper, and the red wine. Simmer for five or so minutes, until the alcohol is dissipated.

Take the canned tomatoes and roughly chop them. Add the tomatoes and their juices to the casserole, cover, and cook over low heat for one hour. Stir regularly. If the mixture is getting dry, add some chicken stock or water. The sauce should be fairly thick at this point.

Remove the pieces of hare from the casserole, bone it, and cut the meat into small pieces.

>liver option: if the rabbit comes with a liver, make sure it is cleaned, and then chop it finely and add it to the met mixture.

Return the meat mixture to the casserole, add more broth if necessary, and cook another ten minutes.

Get five quarts of water  up to a boil.  Add one tablespoon of salt. Add the pappardelle. Cook until al dente. Reserve one cup of the pasta liquid. Then drain.

Re-heat the sauce if necessary. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl, add the butter, stir, add the pappardelle to the sauce. Add the parmesan.  Stir again. Serve with a parsley garnish.




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