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Rabbit Ragu

Like most slow-cooked meat dishes, this ragu is hearty and full of flavor. It tastes even better the next day, so store the leftovers in your refrigerator and reheat them. It goes well with polenta, too. For an alternative presentation, once the rabbit is tender, remove the rabbit pieces from the sauce,  pull the meat from the bones and return to the sauce.

Rabbit Ragu

Category: Pasta, rice & grains, Meat

Recipe in PDF format (print friendly)

  • Serves 4-6
  • Prep time: 20min
  • Cook time: 2h 20min
  • Total time: 2h 40min
  • Difficulty: Intermediate


  • 1 rabbit, cut into 8 pieces
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 100g flour
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 40g pancetta, diced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, halfed and thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 100ml red wine
  • 600g canned whole tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • pappardele pasta, to serve
  • grated Parmesan cheese, to serve


In a large heavy-bottomed pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper, roll them into flour, and shake off any excess. Add the rabbit pieces to the pan and cook on high heat until the rabbit is golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the rabbit to a plate and set it aside. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining olive oil. Add the pancetta and fry until crispy. Add onions, leeks, and carrots. Cook until vegetables are caramelized, stirring occasionally. This will take about 40 minutes. It's important to caramelize the vegetables slowly because they are the basis for the sauce. When the vegetables are caramelized, add red wine and cook on high heat until the alcohol evaporates. Add the garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, chili flakes, dried thyme, and oregano, and cook for 10 minutes. Add the rabbit pieces back to the pan, pour the chicken stock over it and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until rabbit is very tender about 1 hour. Add some more salt and pepper and adjust the seasoning to your taste. Serve the ragu over pappardelle pasta with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

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