Below was the starter, so now on to main! I had been wanting to cook this dish for a while, but as a whole rabbit costs around $25, I wanted to cook it for more than just the two of us. So this dish was the plat du jour for our dinner with Sis and MJ.
As it is now summer, a lot of butchers do not have rabbits readily on hand. However, if you call a day in advance, the lovely boys at Hudson Meats will get one in for you and prepare it as you request. For this dish, I had the rabbit jointed (8 pieces).
Now for my grumbles. Part way through cooking, I noticed that it looked absolutely nothing like the picture in the book. Normally this isn't such a worry, but my concern was that my dish was completely the wrong colour. The photo in the book shows the sauce as having a red-ish tinge, and also there are flecks of what looks like chilli. As you can see in my picture, there is no red in sight. I read, re-read and then read it again. There are absolutely no red ingredients in either the ingredients list or mentioned in the method. Unconvinced, I then made Sis double check. She agreed with me, I grumbled some more, then finished cooking. Our thought is possibly that the recipe should have called for red wine instead of white?
As for the fresh parpadelle, upon tasting this, MJ proclaimed it the best pasta ever. He went as far to say that it craps all over the pasta that he makes at home, and that it was even better than the pasta we ate at A Tavola in July. And they make some very awesome pasta. Yay to me! All my practice making fresh pasta is paying off - this was definitely the best batch I have made. I made this dough a little wetter than usual (by adding extra egg yolks one at a time until I was happy with the dough), kneaded it a bit more than usual, and then stored the whole sheets in the fridge separated by baking paper until I was ready to cook it.
This recipe is best started the day before, to allow the meat to marinate longer, but you could marinate it for as little as 4 hours if in a pinch.
small bunch of thyme, leaves picked
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled and squashed
zest of 1 lemon
1 rabbit, jointed
Mix the above ingredients together and rub them onto your rabbit pieces. Leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.
To cook the rabbit
knob of butter
few sprigs thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 bottle white wine
On the serving day - preheat the oven to 180C. In a large, oven proof saucepan, heat a splash of olive oil with the knob of butter. Season the rabbit, add it to the pan and brown the pieces until golden. Add the thyme, rosemary and garlic, stir, then pour in the wine - it should just cover the meat (use more or less as necessary). Put the lid on, place in the oven, and cook for around 2 hours, or until the meat pulls easily away from the bone. When cooked, remove from the oven and allow meat to cool.
Whilst the rabbit is cooking, make your pasta.
small handful good quality green olives, stoned and roughly chopped
bunch fresh marjoram, leaves picked
freshly grated parmesan cheese
zest of half a lemon
knob of butter
When the meat has cooled, use your hands to shred it away from the bones. Discard the bones. Remove the garlic, rosemary and thyme from the pan, then put the pan on the heat to reduce the cooking liquid until slightly thickened. Turn down to low, and stir in the rabbit meat, olives and marjoram.
Cook your pasta in plenty of boiling salted water. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water. Turn up the heat under the sauce, add the pasta and check for seasoning. Turn the heat off, add the butter and a handful of parmesan, and stir through. Quickly add the lemon zest, and add some of the reserved cooking water if the sauce needs loosening. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver's Cook with Jamie.