Pappardelle with Rabbit Sauce

Pappardelle al Coniglio

Pappardelle with wild hare sauce is a classic Tuscan dish. Since it is rather difficult to find wild hare, and rabbit is now becoming more common even in the U.S., I’ve used the classic hare recipe with rabbit with delicious results.

Total Time from Start to Finish: 1 hour 45 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • ¼ cup celery, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons juniper berries
  • 12 ounces boneless rabbit meat, cut into cubes no larger than ½ inch
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 ½ cups canned whole peeled tomatoes with their juice, coarsely chopped
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pappardelle made with 3 eggs and 2 ¼ cups of flour
  • ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated


  1. Put the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and Sauté until it turns a rich golden color, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots and celery and continue cooking until they become lightly browned.
  3. Add the rosemary, juniper berries and the rabbit meat and cook, stirring often, until the meat becomes lightly browned.
  4. Turn the heat up to medium high and add the red wine. After the alcohol from the wine has evaporated, about 2 minutes, add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. When the tomatoes begin bubbling, turn the heat down to low and continue cooking for at least one hour, until the rabbit has become very tender. If all the liquid evaporates before the rabbit is done, add a little water. The sauce may be prepared ahead of time up to this point and refrigerated.
  5. Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, cover, and place over high heat. When the water boils, add 2 tablespoons salt and the pappardelle. Stir until all the strands are submerged and cook until al dente. When the pasta is done, drain well, toss with the reheated sauce and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the grated Parmigiano. Serve at once.

Also good with: