An Italian pasta that's sure to impress from Food Network chef Gordon Ramsey's cookbook: Gordon Ramsay's World Kitchen.
3 tbsp olive oil
1 farmed rabbit, jointed into 8 pieces*
Sea salt and black pepper
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
3 oz. pancetta, diced
1 tbsp juniper berries, lightly crushed
2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and minced
2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
Generous 1 cup red wine
2 tbsp tomato paste
1-1/4 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp grainy mustard
1 lb. fresh pappardelle or tagliatelle**
Handful of Italian parsley, leaves roughly chopped
Freshly grated Parmesan, to serve
* Farmed rabbit is best for its tender meat, but you can use a wild one for a stronger, gamier flavour if you prefer, allowing an extra 15-20 minutes braising time.
** You should be able to buy fresh pappardelle from a good Italian deli — or, of course, you can make your own. Otherwise, use good dried pasta.
Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a large, wide heavy pan. Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper and panfry them for 2 minutes on each side until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.
Step 2: Add the garlic, onions, fennel and carrot to the pan. Panfry over high heat for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened, then add the pancetta and continue to cook until it is lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes.
Step 3: Add the juniper berries, rosemary and thyme, then return the browned rabbit pieces to the pan. Add the wine and tomato paste and let bubble until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir in the stock, season, and put the lid on. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the rabbit is tender.
Step 4: Take out the rabbit pieces and place on a board. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, shredding larger pieces as necessary. If the sauce is very thin, simmer it until thickened to a light coating consistency. Return the rabbit meat to the sauce and heat through. Stir in the mustard, taste, and adjust the seasoning.
Step 5: When almost ready to serve, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for a few minutes until al dente. Drain well and toss with the rabbit ragù, making sure the pasta is nicely coated with the sauce.
Step 6: Divide between warm serving plates and spoon over any remaining ragù. Scatter over some parsley leaves and serve with grated Parmesan for sprinkling over.
Reprinted with permission from Gordon Ramsay's World Kitchen (2010 Key Porter).