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Pappardelle With Long-Cooked Rabbit Sugo

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“In 'Lidia's Italy' by Lidia Bastianich”
2hrs 45mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Trim the rabbit pieces of any fat, rinse them well, and pat dry.
  2. Using the food processor, mince the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and basil for 15-20 seconds, to a paste (this is pestata).
  3. Season the rabbit pieces all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  4. Pour the olive oil into the saucepan, and set over medium heat.
  5. Lay all the meat in the pan, and let the pieces caramelize gradually, turning them every couple of minutes, until lightly browned on all sides, 6-8 minutes.
  6. Scrape in the pestata, and stir it around the pan, tumbling the rabbit pieces over to coat them with the paste.
  7. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and keep stirring, scraping up the browned bits on the pan bottom and sides, as the pestata steams and sizzles.
  8. When the pestata is dry and starting to stick to the pan, pour in 2 cups or so of hot stock, almost to cover the meat.
  9. Sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  10. Bring the liquid to a boil, adjust the heat to keep it perking gently, and cook partially covered, occasionally turning the rabbit pieces and stirring up the seasonings.
  11. As the liquid reduces, stir in another cup of hot stock every 20 minutes or so.
  12. Cook 1 1/2 hours or more, until the rabbit meat is quite tender; then turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let the sugo cool completely.
  13. Remove the rabbit pieces from the braising juices, and pull all the meat off the bones.
  14. Discard the bones and cartilage; shred the meat in bite-sized morsels, and stir it back in the juices.
  15. Add more stock so the sauce has a flowing consistency, heat to a simmer, and cook for another 15 minutes or longer, until the meat is moist and melded with the sauce.
  16. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  17. While the sauce is hot, toss in pappardelle.

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