Pappardelle With Rabbit & Chestnut Ragu

Pappardelle with rabbit & chestnut ragu

Author:Cassie Best

This is rainy-day comfort food at its best - flat pasta strips tossed with a rich meaty ragu, creamy chestnuts and fragrant orange zest

kcal fat saturates carbs sugars fibre
830 23g 7g 90g 15g 8g

Cook: 3 hrs, 45 mins Prep: 20 mins

freezable italian hearty easy

  • 8
  • 9
  • 0


  • 2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 rabbit, jointed (ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 200g smoked bacon lardons
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp juniper berries, crushed using a pestle and mortar
  • 3 bay leaves, scrunched up in your hand to release the flavour
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
  • 200ml red wine
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 200g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 400g pappardelle
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • zest ½ orange or 1 clementine
  • small bunch parsley, chopped
  • parmesan, to serve (optional)


Serves 4

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, wide pan or flameproof casserole dish with a lid. Season the rabbit and toss in the flour. Add to the hot oil and brown on all sides – you may have to do this in batches. When it is a deep golden brown all over, transfer to a plate. Add the remaining oil and the lardons to the pan and cook for 10 mins until crisp and golden. Add the onion, carrot and celery, and stir for 10 mins, scraping up any crispy bits from the bottom, until the veg has softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min more.
  2. Next, stir in the cinnamon, juniper, bay leaves and rosemary. After 1 min, pour in the wine and crumble in the stock cube. Simmer for 5 mins, then add the tomatoes and return the rabbit to the pan. Nestle the rabbit into the sauce, cover with a lid and simmer gently for 2 hrs, stirring once or twice.
  3. Remove the rabbit, give the sauce a good stir, then cover again. Continue simmering the sauce while you shred the meat from the bones using 2 forks. Discard the bones and add the meat back to the pan, along with half the chestnuts. Cook, uncovered, for another 30 mins until reduced to a thick, rich sauce. Add the remaining chestnuts. Can now be cooled and chilled overnight, or frozen for up to 2 months.
  4. Cook the pasta following pack instructions. Stir the milk, orange zest and parsley into the sauce and reheat, if chilled. When the pasta is cooked, add it to the sauce and cook together for 1 min more. Serve with Parmesan, if you like.


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