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Orecchiette with Rabbit, Broccoli Raab, Shaved Garlic, and Porcini
Recipe by Bruce McMillian, from Signature Pasta, published by The Italian Table
A web-exclusive recipe from Italian Cooking and Living

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 carrot, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Italian parsley sprigs
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 boneless rabbit loin
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch broccoli raab, tough stems and yellow leaves removed
  • 10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 8 ounces porcini mushrooms, scrubbed and sliced 1/4" thick

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet and add the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, parsley, and thyme; cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Stir in the rabbit, and cook for 10 more minutes, or until browned all over, turning once. Deglaze with the wine; when it evaporates, after about 3 minutes, pour in 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low; cook, covered, for 1 hour, or until the rabbit is fork-tender. Remove the rabbit to a plate, shred it, and season with salt and pepper; strain the liquid, discarding the solids, and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring 5 quarts of water to a boil. Drop in the broccoli raab and salt, and cook 5 minutes; remove to a bowl of cold water with a slotted spoon (reserving the pot of boiling water), then drain and chop.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet large enough to accommodate the orecchiette later. Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Fold in the broccoli raab and shredded rabbit without the reserved liquid, and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the orecchiette and salt to the reserved boiling water, and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water.

Add the reserved pasta cooking water to the rabbit sauce, season with salt, pepper, and the crushed red pepper, and stir in the porcini. Cook for 1 minute. Pour in 1 cup of the reserved rabbit braising liquid, bring to a boil, and stir in the orecchiette. Adjust the seasoning if needed, and serve hot. Serves 4

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