Chef's Recipes

Penne with rabbit ragù

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for penne with rabbit ragù by Rita Macali from Melbourne restaurant Supermaxi.

By Rita Macali
  • Serves 4
  • 35 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 10 mins cooking plus brining
Penne with rabbit ragù
Penne with rabbit ragù

“The inspiration for this dish came from the great Florentine cook Giuliano Bugialli. The method is unusual: the addition of the potato mixture lends the ragù a thick, rich texture and a wonderful aroma.”


  • 60 ml red wine vinegar (¼ cup)
  • 1 rabbit (about 1.5kg), jointed
  • 1 small Desiree potato (about 180gm), finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 120 ml olive oil
  • 125 ml dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 500 ml chicken stock (2 cups)
  • 400 gm dried penne
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • To serve: finely grated parmesan


  • 1
    Combine vinegar and 1 litre water in a large non-reactive container, add rabbit and refrigerate for 1 hour. Drain rabbit (discard brine), pat dry with absorbent paper, cut meat from bones (discard bones) and cut into 1cm pieces.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, process potato, garlic, sage, rosemary and chilli in a food processor until a coarse paste forms, season to taste and set aside.
  • 3
    Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add rabbit in batches and stir occasionally until golden (3-5 minutes). Return all rabbit to pan, season to taste, add wine, reduce by half (2-3 minutes). Add potato mixture, stirring often until thickened (1-2 minutes). Add tomato paste and stir often until colour darkens (1-2 minutes). Add chicken stock, bring to the simmer, reduce heat to low, cover and stir occasionally until flavours develop (40-45 minutes). Remove lid, cook until liquid is slightly reduced (8-10 minutes), season to taste and keep warm.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, cook penne in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (10-12 minutes). Drain, then toss through ragù with parsley and serve hot, scattered with parmesan.


This recipe is from the August 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

  • Author: Rita Macali