Rabbit meat is not yet a household name all over the world, but in Italy it is quite common to eat rabbit, especially in the winter. Like other types of game, rabbit meat is also sold at supermarkets, often frozen. Rabbit meat is white, lean, tender, tasty and a good source of high quality protein. Leaner than beef, pork, or chicken, it can be used in most ways chicken meat is used. The best rabbits for eating are between three months and a year old. Herbs like rosemary, sage, bay leaf, thyme, fennel, and basil are the best accompaniments for the meat. You can prepare the meat in many ways – cacciatora style, in the oven, with different vegetables, braised, and fried. Here, the rabbit simmers in a fresh tomato sauce and is served with pappardelle pasta. White wine and rosemary give it the final touch.
1 onion, sliced
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, sliced
1 stick of celery, sliced
2-4 dry chilies, deseeded and finely chopped
3-4 rabbit legs, cut into pieces
1.5 dl/ 2/3 cup dry white wine
2 cans peeled tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
Pappardelle, fresh or dry
freshly grated parmigiano
Heat olive oil in a pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute them until the onion becomes golden. Add the sliced carrots and celery, and continue frying for a few minutes. Add the dry chilies and the fresh rosemary together with the rabbit pieces. Add also the white wine, and once the wine has evaporated, remove the pan from the heat.
Take the rabbit pieces from the pan and remove the bones. After that, return the pan back to the heat with the boneless rabbit pieces. Add the peeled tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, and let the sauce simmer on a low heat for about 30 minutes. Add water, if needed.
Meanwhile, cook the pappardelle al dente in a pot filled with salted boiling water. Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce. Serve immediately with freshly grated parmigiano.