Pappardelle with Rabbit, Porcini & Parmesan
Frank Stitt | Yield: 4
Try this easy recipe for pappardelle pasta with tender braised rabbit and seasonal mushrooms, based on a popular Italian game ragù.
FOR THE BRAISED RABBIT LEGS
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 Rabbit Legs
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 3 medium carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 1 cup Madeira, or medium-dry sherry
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock
- A few fresh thyme sprigs
- 3 bay leaves
FOR THE PAPPARDELLE
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 cremini, stemmed and quartered
- 4 Fresh Domestic Chanterelle Mushrooms
- 4 hedgehog or oyster mushrooms
- 4 Dried Black Trumpet Mushrooms, soaked in warm water until softened
- Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 cup reserved braising liquid
- 2 Boneless Rabbit Loins
- 1 pound dried or fresh pappardelle
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated, plus more for serving
- Braise the rabbit legs: preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large heavy saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the rabbit legs with salt and pepper. Sear on all sides until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack and set aside. Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the Madeira and white wine, bring to a boil and reduce by three quarters. Add the stock, thyme and bay leaves; bring to a simmer.
- Place the browned meat in a casserole and pour the stock and vegetables over it. Cover with a round of parchment paper placed directly on the meat, then a lid. Transfer to the oven and cook until the meat is tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove the meat from the braising liquid and transfer to a rack.
- Strain the braising liquid into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, with the pan half on and half off the burner to make skimming easier. Reduce the liquid by half, skimming off all the fat as it rises to the cooler side of the pan. Reserve.
- When cool enough to handle, shred the rabbit meat off the leg bones and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a rolling boil.
- Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter. When the butter is foamy, add the mushrooms and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until partially cooked but still firm. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add the shallot, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the reserved braising liquid or chicken stock and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
- While the mushrooms cook, heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the rabbit loins, and cook until the edges begin to brown, about 3 minutes, then turn and cook on the second side for 2 to 3 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer the meat to a rack to rest for a few minutes.
- While the meat rests, drop the pappardelle into the boiling water and cook until al dente.
- Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the meat from the braised rabbit legs and the mushrooms. Slice the rabbit loins on the diagonal into 1-inch-wide slices and add to the pasta. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the cheese and toss everything together over medium-low heat.
- Serve in warm deep pasta bowls, and pass more cheese at the table.