Rabbit ragu with pappardelle is a classic Tuscan dish that is perfect for a cozy dinner party or family gathering. This tender meat pairs perfectly with the rich tomato sauce and the wide pappardelle pasta noodles, or you can use bone-in chicken. Here’s how to make the dish:
Tuscan Rabbit Ragu with Pappardelle
Prep time: 20-30 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Makes: 6 servings
- 2 lbs (0.9 kg) rabbit, cleaned and cut into pieces (or bone-in chicken pieces)
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 cup (250 ml) red wine
- 2 cups (500 ml) tomato sauce
- 1 cup (250 ml) chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound (0.450 kg) pappardelle pasta
- Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
- Heat a heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the rabbit pieces and oil and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the meat and set aside.
- Add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery to the pot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Pour in the red wine and cook until it has reduced by half, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce and chicken stock to the pot and stir to combine.
- Return the rabbit pieces to the pot and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook over low heat for about 1½ to 2 hours, or until the meat is tender and falls off the bone.
- Remove the rabbit pieces from the sauce and shred the meat with a fork. Return the shredded rabbit to the sauce and stir to combine.
- Pour the rabbit sauce over the cooked pasta and toss to combine.
- While the rabbit is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pappardelle pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large serving bowl.
- Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve hot.
Pair the ragu with a full-bodied Sangiovese wine, rent the latest movie featuring Tuscan landscapes and enjoy. If you’re suitably inspired to seek out the real thing, you can jump on a plane to Rome, rent the Villa Il Padronale near Cortona for a week and head to the nearest trattoria for a delicious meal.