I was never a big fan of the Crockpot, and I think I can count on one hand the times I’ve used mine. My Instant Pot is a different story though, and I use it a couple of times a week. My husband and I fast every Monday and break the fast at dinner with either a clear chicken or beef broth, which I make in my Instant Pot every weekend. I’ve used it to make stews, soups, boil beans, and pasta sauces like this one. The advantage of the Instant Pot is that if you’re short on time, or can’t be home to have something simmering on the stove, you can put everything in the Instant Pot and just let it do its thing. It will quickly cook anything under pressure in a fraction of the time it would take on the stovetop, and even keep everything warm until you can get home to deal with it.
I love a good rabbit ragu, and it seems this year rabbit is available in almost all of our grocery stores. When I make a rabbit pasta sauce, I prefer a white sauce without tomatoes as I feel it lets the flavor of the rabbit shine through. I find that if cooked in a tomato sauce, the tomatoes overpower the subtle flavor of the rabbit. This recipe is one I first tasted on a trip to Piedmont, and I fell in love at first bite. I got home and worked on perfecting my own version of white rabbit ragu, and I ended up with this recipe. I decided to make this sauce in my Instant Pot this past week when I served it on busiate pasta, a twisted pasta shape that worked perfectly with my sauce. The recipe worked really well in my Instant Pot, although I had to turn on the Saute mode at the end to thicken the sauce. This sauce works well on almost any pasta shape, and both fresh and dried pasta.
I’ll be honest, cutting all the meat off the bones is a bit fiddly and takes a bit of time, but now I can complete it pretty quickly with a very sharp paring knife. Instead of doing this step, if you prefer, you can also cut the rabbit into pieces, cook it in the Instant Pot with the other ingredients, and then, at the end, simply shred the meat from the bones. I prefer to have my meat more finely ground in my ragu, but the shredding method works well too!
Have a nice meal!
Deborah Mele Revised 2022
1 medium rabbit
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 strips bacon or pancetta, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 dl chicken stock
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt & Pepper to taste
- Using a sharp knife, cut all the meat from the rabbit, then cut into 1-inch pieces.
- Place the rabbit meat in a food processor and blend until coarsely ground.
- Set your Instant Pot to Saute mode and heat the oil.
- Brown the ground rabbit meat until browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add bacon or pancetta and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
- Add the onion, celery and carrot and continue to cook until the vegetables have softened, about 7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two until fragrant.
Add tomato puree, white wine, spices and stock.
- Place the lid on the pot and seal, then set the manual mode to 40 minutes.
- Allow the mixture to ventilate on its own, taste and then adjust seasonings as needed.
- If the sauce needs to thicken, turn the sauce mode back on and let the mixture cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 10 minutes.