Oh, what a marvelous dish! Cooked for four hours, it gains a different colour, texture, aroma, and flavour because of the addition of prunes, tomatoes, wine, and meat.
The perfect combination of ingredients creates a great comfort dish that you want to enjoy on a cold autumn or winter weekend – you can play with the kids, do some chores, or read a book while dinner is slowly stewing. A marvelous combination, wonderful textures, and a magical taste.
400 g pasta
sea salt for boiling the pasta
30 ml olive oil for frying
800 g rabbit (legs, back, other pieces)*
50 g shallot, peeled and finely chopped
30 g garlic, peeled and finely chopped
70 g tomato paste
800 g tomatoes in their juice
3 sprigs thyme
1/2 lemon zest, finely grated
1/2 orange zest, finely grated
1/2 tsp anise seeds
300 ml red wine
800 ml chicken or vegetable stock
4 sprigs parsley
5 sprigs basil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
100 g prunes, pitted and halved
60 g hard cheese, finely grated
Heat oil in a pot and brown the rabbit on all sides. Remove from the pot. In the same pot, put the onion and garlic, half the salt, and sauté on a low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with the juices, thyme, both citrus zests, anise, and stir. Finally add the rabbit, red wine, half the stock, basil, parsley, prunes, remaining salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat and simmer for 4 hours, occasionally stirring. After the first 2 hours, add the remaining stock.
After 4 hours, the sauce should have thickened. Remove the meat and strip it off the bones with a fork (discard the bones). Remove the parsley, basil, and thyme. Return the meat to the sauce, add 20 g cheese, stir, put the lid on, and let sit (no heat).
Boil water in a pot. When boiling, add salt, pasta, and boil until al dente. Strain 200 ml of the water in which the pasta has boiled, and set aside. Drain the pasta, return it to the pot, add the pasta water and sauce, and heat on a medium heat until the water has absorbed and the sauce is creamy. Serve on a large platter and sprinkle with some of the cheese, leaving the rest in a bowl so everyone can add more as desired.
Recipe from my book "Time to cook"
Pictures by Armands Meirans