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…
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 (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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