Garganelli with Rabbit Ragu

Featured in SBS Feast Magazine

Serves 4 • Prep 35 mins, plus overnight marinating • Cooking 3 hrs 25 mins

Garganelli is a type of ridged, tubular pasta that’s traditionally made by rolling squares of dough around a wooden stick, known as a bastoncino, along a grooved board or pettine (see Bite-Size Pieces). While you can substitute penne rigate, garganelli is more delicate with a visible seam. Matteo usually serves this pasta with wild hare ragù, but we’ve substituted rabbit, which is more readily available.

400g rabbit, deboned*
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 sprig each sage and rosemary,
leaves picked, finely chopped
½ tbs tomato paste
100ml dry white wine
2 cloves
2 juniper berries
finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, to serve

500ml (2 cups) dry red wine
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 sprig each rosemary and sage
1 bay leaf
2 black peppercorns
2 juniper berries
2 cloves

300g (2 cups) plain flour
3 eggs

1. To make marinade, combine all ingredients in a large, non-reactive bowl. Add rabbit, tossing to coat, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
2. Drain rabbit, discarding marinade, and cut into 3cm pieces. Heat oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic and herbs, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until vegetables start to soften. Add rabbit and cook, turning, for 2 minutes or until browned all over. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add wine and simmer for 3 minutes or until evaporated. Add enough water to just cover mixture, then add cloves and juniper berries. Cover and simmer for 3 hours or until rabbit is very tender.
3. Meanwhile, to make garganelli, place flour on a clean work surface. Make a well in centre and break eggs into it. Using a fork, draw in flour, working from the centre outwards, then using your hands, work in remaining flour. Knead dough for 6 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Enclose dough in plastic wrap and rest for 20 minutes.
4. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough until 5mm thick and about 12cm wide – nearly the width of your pasta machine. Set your pasta machine at its widest setting, then feed through dough, narrowing settings one notch at a time until you reach the thinnest setting. Cut pasta into 2cm squares, then wrap each square around the handle of a wooden spoon, pressing edges to seal. Roll a small fork lightly dusted in flour around pasta to create the ridges, then slide pasta off the handle.
5. When ragù is almost ready, cook garganelli in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, add pasta to ragù and season with salt and pepper, tossing gently to combine. Serve scattered with Parmigiano -Reggiano.

* Rabbit is available from select butchers. Ask your butcher to remove the bones for you.