Chefs' Recipes

Rigatoni with rabbit ragù by Don Peppino's

Make this ragù bianco the day before you plan to eat it – it becomes softer and more delicious.

By Daniel Johnston
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
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Rigatoni with ragù bianco by Don Peppino's
"This ragù bianco is even better, softer and more delicious if made the day beforehand," says Don Johnston of Don Peppino's.

Ingredients

  • 500 gm rigatoni
  • Finely grated pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano, to serve
Ragù bianco
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1½ onions, finely diced
  • 3 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 100 gm pancetta, diced
  • 40 gm anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 600 gm coarsely minced pork shoulder
  • 400 gm coarsely minced chicken thigh
  • 1 small rabbit (see note), jointed
  • 60 gm tomato paste
  • 120 ml white wine
  • 100 ml milk

Method

  • 1
    Heat a large casserole or large over medium heat, add vegetables and half the oil and let the soffritto sizzle a little and begin to steam (5 minutes). Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring regularly, until you are left with a sweet, rich paste (1 hour). Transfer to a bowl.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, blend the pancetta, anchovy and garlic to a paste in a food processor.
  • 3
    Add remaining oil to the casserole with pancetta paste and stir over medium-high heat until colour darkens and mixture is fragrant (8-10 minutes). Add pork, chicken and rabbit, reduce heat to medium and cook, breaking up mince with a wooden spoon. The rabbit will bash around getting in the way; just let it be. Add tomato paste, and stir until caramelised (4-5 minutes), then add wine and cook until evaporated (8-10 minutes). Return soffritto to the casserole, season to taste, cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally until ragù is well flavoured and rabbit can be pulled from the bone (1½ hours). Stir in milk, cook for a final 10 minutes, then season to taste.
  • 4
    Remove rabbit from sauce and cool briefly. Shred meat with your hands, discarding bones. Add to ragù and keep warm.
  • 5
    Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (10-12 minutes). Drain, reserving pasta water, then add drained pasta to ragù, loosening with a little pasta water if necessary. Serve pasta sprinkled with pecorino if you're feeling southern or Reggiano if you're in a northern vibe.

Notes

Order rabbit in advance from select butchers.