Rabbit Ragu Pappardelle

The best recipes are almost always circonstancial.

Whether it’s a trip to the farmer’s market, a recent visit to a new favourite restaurant or simply a massive fridge forage and the realisation that half of what’s in it needs using, those lightbulb moments are what inspire me most in the kitchen.

With Autumn being very much on its way, I’ve been craving comfort food more and more in the last few days.

So of course, I turned to Italian classics, because as much as I wish the French would do better at it, nobody does comfort food quite like the Italians…

Rabbit Ragu Pappardelle recipe | Cake + Whisky

With bolognese on my mind, I went on a little bit of a fridge/freezer forage.

Memories of a beautiful pasta dish we had in Paris, the last few remaining pieces of rabbit my grandma brought in her luggage when she last visited, a can of olives fished from the back of a cupboard, a few bits and bobs from a previous Farmdrop order

… slowly, all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place and this rich and zingy Rabbit Ragu Pappardelle recipe was born!

Rabbit Ragu Pappardelle recipe | Cake + Whisky

Rabbit Ragu Pappardelle (serves 2-3)

Ingredients: 250g fresh pappardelle (I get mine from La Tua Pasta via Farmdrop), 1/2 rabbit (about 600g, preferably leg pieces as they have fewer small bones), 1 small shallot (finely chopped), 2 rashers of smoked bacon, cut into small pieces, handful of cherry tomatoes (about 200g, chopped roughly), small handful pitted black olives (about 15, sliced), 1L good quality chicken or vegetable stock, zest of 1/4 lemon (grated), 2 bay leaves, 1 fresh sprig of thyme, pinch of smoked paprika, 5 pepper corns + freshly ground black pepper, sea salt, good quality olive oil, grated parmesan to serve

1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat up 2 tbs of olive oil, then add the rabbit pieces. Season with a small pinch of sea salt. Cook over high heat for a few minutes until golden. Add the bay leaves and the peppercorns, then pour in the chicken/vegetable stock. Cover the pot, reduce to a small simmer and cook for about an hour or until the meat starts falling off the bones, topping with a little bit of water if necessary.

2. Take the rabbit pieces off the cooking stock and let if cool off before taking all the meat off the bones. Discard the bones and shred the rabbit to bite-sized pieces.

3. Cook the pappardelle according to packaging instructions.

4. In a large pan or wok, heat up 2 tbs of olive oil. Add the chopped shallot and the bacon bits and cook until golden. Add the tomatoes and cook until they start breaking down (about 5-10 min), adding a bit of the cooking stock if necessary. Throw in the sliced olives, lemon zest and smoked paprika, season with salt and pepper and cook for another 2-3 min.

5. Drain the pasta, add to the pan and toss to coat. Serve immediately with some freshly grated parmesan.

What inspires you to get cooking?

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Rabbit Ragu Pappardelle recipe | Cake + Whisky

Rabbit Ragu Pappardelle

Provencale Tomato and Tapenade tart

London seems to have forgotten how to Summer this year. Sure, they were a few heatwave-type days, but those were a while back, and since then, it’s been mostly dark clouds and rain and wind.

Since the weather has been failing me, I had to turn to some other methods to get my daily dose of Summer. Which might explain why I’ve baked variations of my mum’s tomato tart every week for the past month or so…
Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + WhiskyThis tomato & tapenade version might be one of my favourite variations sofar.

Juicy ripe tomato, punchy tapenade and melt-in-the-mouth pastry… you’ll want a large slice of this one (and it takes minutes to put it together… #WinWin)!
Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + WhiskyIngredients: 1 portion of shortcrust pastry (you can make your own or buy it in the supermarket), about 100g of black olive tapenade (I bought mine from the Borough Olives stall at the Borough Market), 4-6 ripe tomatoes (depending on the size of your tart tin), salt, cracked black pepper, dried thyme (or any other herb you like).

1. Roll your pastry on a lightly floured surface. Line your tart tin and cut the excess pastry.Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + WhiskyProvencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + WhiskyProvencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + WhiskyProvencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + Whisky2. Spread the tapenade over the bottom of the pastry.Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + Whisky3. Slice your tomatoes.Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + Whisky4. Arrange the tomato slices accross the top in a circular pattern.Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + WhiskyProvencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + Whisky5. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, some cracked black pepper and a generous helping of dried thyme. Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + Whisky6. Bake for about 30 minutes at 180°C or until the tomatoes look golden. Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + Whisky7. Serve hot or cold with a green salad.

What’s your favourite lazy-cook-friendly summer recipe? 

Provencale Tomato and Tapenade tart