This flavorful ragu is served with fresh tarragon-flavored garganelli at Frankies Spuntino restaurant in Brooklyn, New York, but is delicious with any kind of pasta. This recipe first appeared in our December 2011 issue along with the special feature Italian America.
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 2 (2–2 1/2 lb.) rabbits, cut into quarters
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cloves cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped
- 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
- 1 large turnip, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1⁄4 cup tomato paste
- 2 cups red wine
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tbsp. dried sage
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
- 2 lb. spinach garganelli or penne pasta, cooked
- 2 tbsp. minced parsley
- 2 tbsp. minced tarragon
Heat oven to 350°. Heat oil in an 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season rabbit with salt and pepper, and add to pot; cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside. Add garlic, onions, carrots, celery, and turnip to pot; cook until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook until caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add wine; cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Return rabbit to pot along with stock, sage, thyme, bay leaves, and tomatoes; cover with lid. Transfer to oven; braise until meat falls off the bone, about 1 1⁄2 to 2 hours.
Remove rabbit from pot, shred meat off bones, and discard bones; return meat to pot and season with salt and pepper. Serve ragù over garganelli; sprinkle with herbs.