Many pasta dishes are great for a weeknight meal, as they take no longer to prepare than it takes to cook the pasta. This is another example of such a dish, not a classic Italian recipe but something that came around from what I had in my refrigerator. The combination of fennel and rabbit worked out nicely. Rabbit loin is very tender and has a nice subtle flavor to it. Dusting the rabbit pieces with semolina flour provides a nice crust. If it is unlikely that you encounter rabbit loin in your refrigerator, you could always substitute with bonesless and skinless chicken (thighs or breast). Here’s what I did.
150 grams (.33 lb) penne pasta
225 grams (.5 lb) rabbit loin
1 fennel bulb, cleaned and cut into strips
1 clove garlic
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
60 ml (1/4 cup) dry white wine
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
semolina flour (or regular flour) for dusting
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and add the garlic clove, peeled only. Cook it until it’s golden, but don’t let it turn brown.
Cut the rabbit into cubes, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and dust them with flour. Use semolina flour if you have it, as it provides a nicer crust. Brown the rabbit quickly in the hot oil until the rabbit pieces are lightly golden. The rabbit does not have to be cooked through at this point, as it will continue to cook from the residual heat while it rests.
By now the water for the pasta should be boiling. Add salt and pasta and cook al dente according to package instructions.
This simple but delicious cherry cake looks like clafoutis, but it is more cake and less flan than a clafoutis.