Ragu of slow-braised rabbit with chickpeas, rosemary, garlic and candied lemon

Ingredients

  • 2 x 1.5kg rabbits, jointed into 6 pieces
  • 2/3 cup (100g) flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) olive oil
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tbs rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups (310ml) dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups (625ml) chicken stock
  • 2 x 125g cans chickpeas, rinsed, drained
  • 500g dried pappardelle
  • 50g unsalted butter, chopped
  • Shaved parmesan, to serve

Candied lemon

  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • Pared rind of 2 lemons, sliced into thin strips

Method


  • 1

    Preheat oven to 180°C. Toss rabbit in flour to coat, shaking off excess. Heat 1/4 cup (60ml) oil in a large, deep ovenproof frypan or casserole (with a tight-fitting lid) over medium-high heat. Add half the rabbit and cook 2 minutes each side until golden. Remove, then add another 1/4 cup (60ml) oil and brown remaining rabbit.


  • 2

    Wipe pan clean, then return to stove over medium heat with remaining 2 tbs oil. Add garlic and rosemary and stir for 1-2 minutes until garlic is just starting to colour. Return rabbit to pan with wine and stock, then bring to a simmer. Cover surface with baking paper, then cover with lid and transfer to oven for 30 minutes. Add chickpeas, re-cover and cook for a further 30 minutes or until meat is tender and falling off the bone.


  • 3

    Meanwhile, for candied lemon, stir sugar and 1/2 cup (125ml) water in a small pan over medium heat for 2 minutes to dissolve sugar. Add rind and simmer 5-6 minutes until syrupy and the rind is translucent. Set aside.


  • 4

    Remove the rabbit from the sauce. When cool enough to handle, shred the meat and set aside, discarding bones.


  • 5

    Return ragu pan to the stove over medium-high heat and reduce sauce for 12-15 minutes until thickened. Add the rabbit, warm through for 3-4 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper.


  • 6

    While sauce is reducing, cook pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions. Drain.


  • 7

    Stir butter into ragu, then add drained pasta and toss well. Serve scattered with candied lemon and drizzled with a little of the syrup, then top with parmesan.

Notes


+

Order rabbit from butchers and ask them to joint each one into 2 shoulders, 2 legs and 2 saddle cuts.