1 farmed rabbit
150ml olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and broken but whole
1 or 2 whole dried chillies
250ml white wine
750g ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks (probably 1/8ths)
a 30g bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
grated Pecorino Romano, (optional), to serve
Also good with this recipe
maccheroni inferrati , spaghetti
Rabbit and spicy tomato
This is a punchy dish with concentrated flavours that work just as well at any time of year. Hailing from beautiful Ischia, it serves four as two courses of a meal.
Cut the rabbit into joints (cut the legs and shoulders off the spine, cut off tail, neck and ribs, cut the torso into four sections, leaving belly flaps, liver and kidneys attached).
Heat the oil in a very wide pan (40cm – you need space to brown the rabbit, although this can be done in two batches in a smaller pan). Fry the garlic with the chilli until the cloves begin to brown, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the rabbit, seasoned with salt and pepper, and brown very well over a medium heat – this will take a good 15 minutes if the heat isn’t too high. Return the garlic and chilli and add the wine. Allow to bubble slowly, uncovered, turning the rabbit every 5 minutes or so. After half an hour, when almost all the wine has evaporated, add the tomato and parsley and season to taste. Continue to cook over the same heat, still turning the rabbit every few minutes for longer than you might think.
This sauce is cooked until it is incredibly reduced, and the rabbit is coated in a concentrated paste of tomato in which it again starts to fry. This should take about 40 minutes from when you add the tomatoes, but keep on going until you are afraid the tomato might burn. Put the pasta on at this point.
There will appear to be almost no sauce for your pasta, but adding 200ml of water will rejuvenate and extend the meagre scrapings that stick to pan and rabbit. Remove the meat (keep it somewhere warm for your second course), and add the pasta (drained and al dente) to the pan and cook for a minute in the sauce. Serve as is, or with a little pecorino if you like.