I was never a big fan of the Crockpot, and I think I can count the times on one hand that I’ve used mine. My Instant Pot, however, is another story, and I use it a couple of times a week. My husband and I fast every Monday and break our fast at dinner with either a clear chicken or meat broth, which I make in my Instant Pot every weekend. I’ve used it to make stews, soups, cook beans, and pasta sauces such as this one.
The benefit of the Instant Pot is that if you are short on time, or can’t be home to have something simmering on the stovetop, you can put everything into 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 that rabbit is available in just about every one of our grocery stores. When I make a rabbit pasta sauce, I prefer a white sauce without tomatoes as I feel that it lets the flavor of the rabbit to shine through. I find 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 Piemonte, and I fell in love at first bite. I came 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 on 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 just about any pasta shape, and both fresh and dried pasta.
I’ll be honest, cutting all the meat off the bones is a bit finicky and takes a little time, but I now can complete it pretty quickly with a very sharp paring knife. Instead of doing this step, if you prefer, you could 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 off the bones. I prefer having my meat more finely ground in my ragu, but the shredding method works okay too!
Deborah Mele Revised 2022
- 1 Medium Sized Rabbit
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 4 Strips Bacon or Pancetta, Finely Chopped
- 1 Small Onion, Finely Chopped
- 2 Sticks Celery, Finely Chopped
- 1 Medium Carrot, Peeled & Finely Chopped
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 2 Cups Dry White Wine
- 1 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley Leaves
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- Use a sharp knife and cut all of the meat off the rabbit, then cut into 1-inch pieces.
- Place the rabbit meat into a food processor, and pulse 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 the 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 another minute or two until fragrant.
Add the tomato paste, white wine, spices, and stock.
- Set the lid on the pot and seal, and then set the Manual mode to 40 minutes.
- Let the mixture self vent, taste, then adjust seasonings as needed.
- If the sauce needs thickening, turn on the Sauce mode again and let the mixture cook without a lid until thickened, about 10 minutes.