- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 100 g speck, finely diced
- ½ small leek, finely diced
- 1 small carrot, finely diced
- 1 small stick celery, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1.2 kg rabbit, cut in to 6 pieces (ask your butcher to cut this for you)
- 20 g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in ½ cup boiling water
- 1 large field mushroom, finely diced
- 1 x 400 g can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups good quality chicken stock
- 6 sage leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 stalk rosemary
- 500 g fresh pappardelle pasta
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, extra
- 18 extra sage leaves
- ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese, optional
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat olive oil a large, heavy based, casserole dish over and a medium heat and sauté speck for 3–4 minutes. Add the leek, carrot and celery and sauté for another 3–4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
Move the leek, carrot and celery mixture to the sides of the pan and brown the rabbit pieces well on all sides.
While the rabbit is browning, drain the porcini mushrooms, reserving the soaking water. Finely chop the porcini and once the rabbit is browned, add with the soaking water to the casserole dish.
Add the field mushroom, diced tomatoes, chicken stock, sage, bay leaf and rosemary.
Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook partially covered for 2½–3 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bones. Once cooked remove the rabbit pieces from the casserole dish and carefully pull the meat off the bone, shred into bite-size pieces. Return the meat to the pan and season to taste.
Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water til al dente.
While the pasta is cooking heat the extra olive oil in a small shallow pan over a medium heat. Fry the extra sage leaves until crispy and drain on paper towel.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Toss ragout through the pasta, adding a little of the cooking water if needed to loosen the pasta. Serve topped with fried sage leaves and parmesan cheese to your liking.
• You can substitute 6 chicken thighs on the bone in place of the rabbit pieces.
Photography by Petrina Tinslay, styling by David Morgan and art direction by Anne Marie Cummins.