Farro Pappardelle with Rabbit Ragu, Figs, Prosciutto, and Mushrooms
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon toasted Sichuan peppercorns, finely ground in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder
- ¼ teaspoon dried Thai chile flakes or red pepper flakes, toasted and finely ground in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder
- 4 rabbit hind legs (about 1 ½ to 2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ⅓ cup diced prosciutto
- 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 ½-inch pieces
- ⅓ cup dry sherry
- 1 ½ cups dry red wine
- 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken stock
- One (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 12 dried shiitakes
- 8 sprigs thyme
- 1 pint fresh figs, halved, or 1 cup dried figs (about 6 ounces), halved
- 1 pound fresh pappardelle, preferably whole wheat, or homemade Farro
- Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
- ½ cup (lightly packed) parsley leaves, roughly chopped, for serving
Combine 2 teaspoons salt, Sichuan peppercorns, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Place rabbit legs on a plate and season with spice mix. Legs can be seasoned up to 24 hours in advance. Keep covered in refrigerator until ready to braise.
Heat a large Dutch oven or wide skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat pan. Add rabbit legs and sear until golden brown, flipping once, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer legs to a plate and set aside.
Add prosciutto to pot and cook, stirring, until prosciutto begins to crisp, about 2 minutes. Add onion, celery, and carrots and stir to coat. Cook until vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes. Add sherry and red wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, shiitakes, and thyme. Stir to combine. Nestle rabbit legs back into pan in an even layer. Cover and transfer to oven.
Braise until rabbit is tender and falling off the bone, about 2 hours.
Remove legs from braise and set aside. Place pot over medium heat and bring to a brisk simmer. Simmer until liquid is sufficiently reduced and slightly more viscous. This will be the sauce for the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove shiitakes and cut into thin slices. Using a slotted spoon, strain remaining vegetables and thyme sprigs and discard. Return shiitakes to pot.
When rabbit is cool enough to handle, pull meat from bones, shred into bite-sized pieces, and add to reduced sauce with mushrooms. Add figs and fold to combine. Keep warm.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and add pasta. Stir, ensuring that pasta doesn’t stick together, and let cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Return pasta to pot and add enough ragu to coat. Gently fold to combine, thinning if necessary with pasta water, a couple of tablespoons at a time, for desired consistency. Transfer to serving plates and serve immediately, topped generously with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and parsley.