Maccheroni al Torchio con Ragù di Coniglio
Region: Italy, Emilia-Romagna
Category: Pasta with Game
Difficulty: Labor Intensive
Maccheroni al torchio is a thick extruded pasta the thickness of bucatini but without the hole. It is made with a hand cranked extrusion device called a torchio. The maccheroni al torchio
con ragù di coniglio
that I had at the Trattoria Caminetto d'Oro at via de'Falegnami 4 in Bologna
(tel: 051-263494, www.caminettodoro.it ) was truly fantastic. Bits of rabbit are slowly braised in a soffritto of onion, carrot, celery, pancetta, and parsley and then the addition of tomato, rabbit broth, and wine are used to complete the preparation. The size of the pasta should be thicker than
spaghetti. If spaghetti is one
millimeter in diameter then maccheroni al torchio is about four
millimeters. Use lots of cheese.
Yield: Makes 4 small servings
Preparation Time: 3 hours
2 rabbit hind legs, meat removed and diced small (about 1/2 pound boneless meat), bones saved
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped celery stalk
1 ounce pancetta, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 pound ripe tomato, cut in half, seeds squeezed out, and grated against the largest holes of a standing grater down to the peel
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 pound thick spaghetti, bucatini (perciatelli), or macaroni alla chitarraFreshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. Place the rabbit bones in a saucepan and cover with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the remaining meat has significantly clouded the water, about 2 hours. Strain the broth and reserve.
2. Meanwhile, in a flame-proof casserole, heat the olive oil with the butter and garlic over high heat until the garlic starts to turn light brown in about 1 minute. Remove and discard the garlic. Add the rabbit meat and cook, stirring, until it turns color, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery, pancetta, 2 tablespoons parsley, and cayenne pepper and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and cook 2 minutes. Add the tomato, tomato paste, and 3/4 cup rabbit broth and stir, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rabbit is tender, about 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, for every pound of pasta, bring 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil over high heat, salt abundantly with up to 1/2 cup of salt, then add the pasta in handfuls. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally so the pasta doesn't stick together, until al dente. Drain without rinsing.
4. Transfer the pasta to the casserole with the rabbit ragout and toss well with the sauce for 2 minutes. Toss again with the Parmesan cheese and serve with more cheese at the table.