Rabbit Ragù



Ragù is a meat-based sauce that is usually a sauce of meat with vegetables cooking in liquid.  I wanted to try braising (and not using the slow cooker, as this is a good substitute.)  A few months ago my friend ordered the rabbit ragù from Vivace (an Italian restaurant in Charlotte), and decided to try to make it on my own. 

(note: this makes about 8 cups, so it will feed a crowd. It will halve really well, or you can freeze.) 

½ cup olive oil
2 2–2½ lb. rabbits, cut into quarters
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
2 cups red wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp. dried rosemary
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
2 boxes rigatoni (or hearty pasta)
2 tbsp. minced parsley
Optional: Freshly grated parmesan cheese, hot sauce/sriracha


Heat oven to 350°. 

Butchered Rabbit

Heat oil in an 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season rabbit with salt and pepper, and add to pot; cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside. 

Add garlic, onions, carrots, and celery to pot; cook until caramelized, about 20 minutes. 

Add tomato paste, wine, and chicken stock; cook about 5 minutes. 

Return rabbit to pot along with rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, and tomatoes; cover with lid. Transfer to oven;  


Braise until meat falls off the bone, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.

While meat is cooking (after an hour), bring salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to the package until al dente.  Drain pasta when cooked. 

Remove rabbit from pot, shred meat off bones, and discard bones; return meat to pot and season with salt and pepper. Serve ragù over pasta; sprinkle with parsley and parmesan. (I suggest adding a few drops of sriracha for those who want more than a ‘mild’ flavor.) 



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: