Toasted fazzoletti with rabbit ragu

Toasted fazzoletti with rabbit ragu

By
From
Man Food
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Billy Law

Fazzoletti — ‘handkerchiefs’ in Italian — is one of the easiest pastas you can make, even without a pasta machine. The soft, al dente pasta sheet is like a comfort blanket for the rabbit ragu. This recipe calls for toasted flour as it gives the pasta a deliciously nutty flavour. It’s up to you whether you want to go the extra mile with this, but it’s totally worth it. You can make the rabbit ragu a day ahead as it stores well in the refrigerator and the flavours will develop over time.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs oregano, leaves picked and finely chopped
2 sprigs thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
1 whole rabbit, jointed into 6 pieces
1 tablespoon tomato paste
250ml dry white wine
500ml vegetable stock
4-5 cloves
4-5 juniper berries, lightly crushed
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
100g butter
parsley sprigs, to serve

Toasted fazzoletti

Quantity Ingredient
300g strong ‘00’ flour, plus extra for dusting
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
pinch salt

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, bay leaves and herbs, and cook for 3 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften. Add the rabbit pieces and cook for 5 minutes, or until browned all over. Add the tomato paste and keep stirring for another minute.
  2. Pour in half the wine, scraping the base of the pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge the caramelised bits. Add the remaining wine and let it simmer until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the stock, cloves and juniper berries, making sure the rabbit pieces are fully submerged. Cover with a lid and simmer over a low heat until the rabbit is fall-off-the-bone tender, about 2 hours.
  3. Remove the rabbit from the pan and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, shred the meat and return it to the pan. Simmer until the sauce has thickened. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the toasted fazzoletti pasta, preheat the oven to 175°C. Spread 150 g of the flour onto a baking tray and toast in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring once after 15 minutes. The flour should be a light golden colour with a nutty aroma. Remove from the oven and cool. Sift the toasted flour with the remaining flour so that it is well combined. Tip the flour onto a clean work surface and make a well in the centre. Add the eggs and yolks to the well and sprinkle with salt. Using a hand, slowly incorporate the flour into the egg mixture to form a rough dough. Knead for about 10 minutes to form a soft, pliable dough. It should be smooth and elastic but not sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  5. In batches, using a pasta machine, roll and laminate the dough. Cut the pasta into 12 cm squares, then layer them between sheets of baking paper on a tray.
  6. Bring a large saucepan of water to a rolling boil over a high heat, season with a good pinch of salt. In batches, cook the pasta until al dente, about 1 minute.
  7. Meanwhile, melt half the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat until it is browned with a nutty aroma. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add half of the pasta to the pan, toss well to make sure it is nicely coated in the browned butter. Repeat the process with the remaining butter and pasta. It is time to reheat the rabbit ragu if necessary.
  8. To serve, place a few pasta sheets on each serving plate, spoon a ladleful of rabbit ragu over the top and garnish with parsley.
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