Pici with rabbit ragù

PT2H40M

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Ingredients

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Pici

  • 400g of strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 190ml of water

Ragù

1
To make the pici dough, place the flour in a large mixing bowl with the olive oil and slowly incorporate the water until the dough comes together (you may not need all the water). Tip out onto a floured work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and pliable. Wrap tightly in cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour
  • 400g of strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 190ml of water
2
To make the ragù, preheat an oven to 170°C/gas mark 3
3
If you have a whole rabbit that isn’t jointed, now’s the time to do it (if it’s already jointed, you can skip this step). Using a sharp knife, remove the hind legs from the rabbit by slicing around the leg where it attaches to the body, then bend it back to release the bone from the socket and cut through the joint to remove it. Repeat with the front legs – these are only attached by muscle so will come away very easily. Chop the remaining carcass in half, just below the ribcage using a heavy knife or cleaver, then set all the pieces aside
  • 1 rabbit, jointed (ask your butcher to do this or follow the instructions in the recipe)
4
Heat the oil in a large, heavy based pan or ovenproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Season the rabbit with salt and sear until golden brown all over – you will need to do this in batches to ensure the pan is not overcrowded. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside. In the same pan add all the diced veg along with the garlic and rosemary, then turn the heat down to medium. Gently cook until the vegetables turn a deep and rich brown colour, which should take 30-40 minutes. If you see it starting to catch on the base of the pan during this process, add a splash of water and continue to cook
5
Once all the vegetables are evenly browned, add the wine and cook off the alcohol for about 2 minutes, then return the rabbit to the pan along with the chicken stock, bay leaves and sage. Cover with a tight-fitting lid if using a casserole dish, or transfer to a roasting pan and cover tightly with foil. Place in the oven and cook for 1½ hours, until the meat is falling off the bone
6
While the stew cooks, roll out the rested pici dough on a clean, dry work surface (don’t dust the work surface with flour) into a rectangle, roughly 15x40 cm and about ½cm thick. Cut into ½cm strips along the short edge and cover with a clean tea towel to stop them drying out. Take each strip and, using your fingertips, roll out into long thin worm shapes, starting in the centre of each strip and working your way outwards. Lay them on a large tray with a liberal dusting of flour to stop them drying out. Cover and keep in the fridge until they are ready to be used
7
When the meat is thoroughly cooked and falling off the bone, remove it from the sauce and leave until cool enough to handle (discard the bay leaves too). Shred all the meat from the bones and return it to the sauce, being extra careful that no bone fragments make their way into the ragù. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper, then keep warm or gently reheat before serving
8
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and drop the pici into the water. Boil for 3-5 minutes (pici is quite a thick pasta so will take a bit longer than many other fresh pasta varieties). Test a piece before serving to make sure it is cooked all the way through – you are looking for a firm, bouncy texture. If undercooked it will be very doughy, stodgy and quite unpleasant
9
Transfer the pici straight into the ragu either using a pair of tongs or strain through a colander, retaining a cup or two of the cooking water. Toss the pici and the ragu together vigorously with the butter, over a medium heat, using a splash of the cooking water to achieve a nice oozy consistency – not too wet, not too dry!
  • 1 knob of unsalted butter
10
Stir through the parsley, then finish with freshly grated Parmesan
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