A delicious pasta with braised rabbit recipe from the island of Ischia.
- 1 kg rabbit (cut into pieces)
- 3-4 garlic cloves peeled
- 500 ml white wine
- 1 small fresh red chili pepper or dried flakes (optional)
- 1 sprig rosemary leaves removed from stem
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme ( I used 1 tsp dried)
- 1 tbsp fresh marjoram (I used 1 tsp dried)
- salt for pasta and to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 400 g bucatini pasta
- all purpose flour for flouring rabbit pieces
- 3-4 tbsp extra virigin olive oil
- 400 g cherry tomatoes cut in half and seeds removed.
Wash the rabbit pieces and remove liver and kidneys and set aside (if you have them). Marinate the rabbit in 200ml white wine for 1-2 hours or overnight. Then drain and pat dry with kitchen paper ( I also added some thyme and marjoram).
Wash and cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds. Wash and chop the herbs and peel the garlic. (sprigs of fresh herbs can also be left whole)
Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom iron skillet or saucepan. Add the garlic and saute for a minute or two until the garlic is lightly golden. (if you are using a whole fresh peperoncino add it too)
Flour and season the rabbit pieces, add them to the pan and brown. Turn and brown them on the other side.
Once the rabbit is nicely golden-brown on both sides, remove the garlic and chili and add the other 300 ml of white wine. Allow the alcohol to evaporate a little and then cover and simmer the rabbit in the wine for 15 minutes. Turn the rabbit pieces and continue to simmer covered for another 15 minutes.
Add the cherry tomato halves, chopped parsley, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, red chili flakes (if using), liver and kidneys (if you have them) and salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking uncovered for a few minutes until the tomatoes start to soften. Cover and continue to cook until the meat is done (another 15-20 minutes), adding a bit more wine as necessary to keep it from drying out and to obtain a nice sauce for the pasta.
In the meantime, put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Add salt once it starts to boil and bring to the boil again.
Once the meat is cooked, remove it from the pan to a plate and keep warm to serve separately with potatoes or remove the meat from half or some of the rabbit pieces, chop it finely and add it to the sauce.
Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the packet. When ready, save a cup of the cooking water and drain.
Reheat the sauce, adding some of the pasta cooking water if it seems dry then add the pasta and mix everything together well so that the pasta gets coated in the sauce.
Serve immediately with extra pieces of rabbit if you aren’t planning another course or to use the braised rabbit another time.
Cooking and preparation times don't include the time for marinating the rabbit.
This dish is traditionally served with bucatini but you can also use spaghetti or short pasta such as penne or fusilli.