Baby rabbit & avocado ravioli

Baby rabbit & avocado ravioli

By
From
A Year of Practiculture
Serves
4
Photographer
Rohan Anderson & Kate Berry

I know, baby rabbit sounds mean, doesn’t it. In winter, new rabbits pop out of the ground and just happen to be the most tender due to their age. The same can be said for most animals, actually. Think about lamb and veal, young versions of the sheep and cow. Rabbits are no different. The younger mammals are, the tenderer they are.

Here in Australia, rabbit is an introduced pest and an environmental nightmare. Their numbers will never be controlled – two separate releases of biological control agents haven’t fixed the problem. Rabbits occupy the same ecological niche as some of our native marsupials, and they cause significant damage to crops. So they’re a problem worth eating.

Avocados come into season in winter and, depending on the variety, seem to last all the way to summer. Then they’re absent. So while they’re in season, we add avocado to everything. Well, not everything. Avocado and coffee don’t work well, FYI.

This recipe is a bit fiddly but the effort is rewarded with a really splendid meal.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 wild baby spring rabbits
300g fresh ricotta
90g pecorino, grated
handful soft garden-fresh spring thyme
2 avocados
2 lemons, juiced
1 teaspoon chilli powder, plus extra to serve
pouring cream
300g organic plain flour, plus extra for dusting
4 large backyard eggs
good-quality extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
murray river salt, to taste
foraged mountain pepper berries, to taste

Method

  1. Poach the rabbits gently in water for 2 hours, or until the meat starts to fall off the bone. Allow to cool, remove the meat from the bones, then blitz the meat in a food processor. Save the bones for stock.
  2. Transfer the processed meat to a large mixing bowl, then add the ricotta and half the pecorino. Pick the thyme leaves, reserving a sprig or two as a garnish, and add to the meat and cheese. Mix well (this is the stuffing for the ravioli, so try not to eat too much of it as you mix).
  3. Remove the flesh from one and a half of the avocados, then mash with a spoon in a large mixing bowl. Add half the lemon juice, the chilli powder, and a generous dollop of cream. For extra love, add the remaining pecorino.
  4. Pour the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Break three of the eggs into the well. Using an expensive kitchen mixing device (i.e. your hands, with clean fingers), mix and twirl the egg around in the flour until completely mixed, then knead on a floured bench for 5 minutes, or until a smooth dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
  5. Roll out massive strips of flat pasta. Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl and grab a small pastry brush. Arrange a few spoonfuls of the filling at regular intervals on one half of each strip of pasta. Brush the egg over the exposed pasta, then fold over the half without filling to cover the filling. Seal well, pushing any air out of the pockets of filling. Use a pasta cutter to cut out your ravioli. Repeat with any remaining pasta and filling.
  6. Cook the ravioli in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, or until al dente. Remove from the hot water with a slotted spoon and pop straight into the bowl with the mashed avocado. Toss and flip the ravioli to cover with the creamy mashed avocado sauce.
  7. Slide the ravioli and avocado sauce onto a pretty plate. Drizzle over the best olive oil you have in the house and the remaining lemon juice, crack over the salt and wild pepper berries, and add a sprinkle of beautiful red chilli powder. To remind you that it’s okay to have avocado in pasta, slice the remaining avocado half to sit proudly on top. Garnish with the reserved thyme sprigs and serve.
Tags:
rohan
anderson
practiculture
whole
larder
love
sustainable
sustainability
grow
harvest
forage
hunt
seasonal
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