Rabbit Bolognese

Rabbit Bolognese

Sarah MickeyAll Recipes, Ground Meat Recipes, Offal Recipes, Pasta & Pasta Sauce Recipes, Rabbit Recipes Leave a Comment

Braised Rabbit & Rabbit Liver Bolognese with Pappardelle

Makes 4-6 Servings

Because rabbit meat is by nature rather mild, this Bolognese recipe is fortified with two secret ingredients and one-not-so-secret one. A full pound of flavorful rabbit livers adds considerable depth to the sauce, but we’ve given it even more umami by sneaking in some fish sauce too.

There’s also supplemental gelatin snuck in to further enhance the sauce’s mouth feel, simulating the sort of depth you’d get from braising slow cooking cuts from larger animals & dissolving their collagen into the sauce.

  • Spice Blend
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seed
  • ¼ tsp Black Peppercorns
  • Aromatics
  • 8oz Bacon, small diced (we used Kurobuta Slab Bacon)
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, small diced
  • 2 Carrots, peeled & small diced
  • 4 Ribs of Celery, small diced
  • ½ tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 cups Dry White Wine
  • 1 quart, Chicken Stock (lowest salt possible)
  • 4 packets Knox Powdered Gelatin
  • 28oz can Fire Roasted Whole Tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • Fish Sauce to Taste
  • 3oz Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, very finely grated
  • 8oz Pappardelle (we used Filotea Pappardelle)
  • Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley
  • Additional Parmigiano Reggiano for Garnish



Preheat your oven to 300°F.

Toast the bay leaves, cloves, fennel seed & black peppercorns in a dry pan on the stove until they’re aromatic. Put all the spices in a grinder & grind them together into a fine powder.

Add the olive oil to a hot cast iron skillet or frying pan. Get it hot over high heat, then add the ground rabbit, and cook until it’s no longer pink (you don’t need to reach a deep brown at this point).

Stir in the liver puree & move the pan off the heat.

Add the diced bacon to a dutch oven over medium heat, along with the olive oil & render out the fat.

Once the bacon has rendered and is starting to crisp, add the salt, carrot, celery & celery, along with the ground spice mixture. Sweat the vegetables over medium-low heat until they soften.

Pour the white wine into a Dutch oven to deglaze it. Simmer to reduce the volume of white wine by half.

Sprinkle the powdered gelatin into the chicken stock and let it sit for a few minutes until the granules swell (“bloom”).

Pour the stock, tomatoes, and milk into the pot. Stir in the rabbit liver & meat mixture. Bring the liquid to a simmer.

Put the lid on the Dutch oven & move it to the oven to braise for 5-6 hours. Check it periodically & scrape down the sides to incorporate clinging bits before they burn.

Remove the pot from the oven & skim the fat off the top of the sauce.

Stir in the heavy cream, 3oz of parmigiano reggiano cheese, fish sauce to taste, and additional salt to taste

Cook the pasta to very al dente. Drain off the cooking water, reserving ¼ cup.

Return the pasta to the pot with the reserved pasta water and several ladles of the Bolognese. Cook over high heat, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Serve the pasta with additional sauce as desired, sprinkled with parsley leaves and additional cheese.
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