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For this dish you will need two whole rabbits, about 2 to 2½ lbs each. Ask your butcher to split the rabbits into thighs, shoulders and loins with bellies. You’ll also need the rabbit kidneys and livers–to wrap in the rabbit loins–but theycan be hard to find, so if they are not available, wrap one sage leaf and 1 Tbsp of green olive tapenade in each of the four loins.
BABY ARTICHOKES: In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil on medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and sweat until soft, about 2 minutes. Add artichokes and sweat for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add wine and stock. Cover with a parchment cartouche and braise until tender, about 12 minutes. Finish with the remaining 2 tsp of olive oil and chopped sage.
GREEN OLIVE TAPENADE: In a food processor, blend olives, sundried tomatoes, garlic and oil.
RABBIT SHOULDER AND THIGH: Preheat the oven to 275°f. In a large ovenproof Pan, heat butter and 1 Tbsp of the olive oil on high heat. Add rabbit Thighs and shoulders and sear for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown. Removethe rabbit and add carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Roast until well browned, About 12 minutes. Deglaze the pan with Madeira, add chicken stock and bring To a boil. Return thighs and shoulders to the pan, cover and braise in the ovenuntil tender, 60 to 80 minutes. Set the meat aside and pass the braising liquid Through a sieve into a small saucepan. Heat the liquid until it is reduced to The consistency of cream, about 20 minutes.
Remove the bone from the thigh. Heat the thigh gently in the sauce.
Chop olives. Remove the meat from the shoulder and shred, then add Chopped olives and ricotta cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Roll out pasta to the thickness of a dime and cut the sheet into eight 2 ½-inch squares. Place an eighth of the shoulder farce in the middle of each square and fold the pasta over to form a triangle. Seal the edges with a fork. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and blanch for 3 minutes, then plunge the ravioli into an ice bath to refresh.
Heat the remaining 2 tsp of olive oil in a small non-stick pan on medium heat. Add ravioli and lightly sauté for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
ROASTED RABBIT LOINS: Trim the fat from the rabbit bellies. Remove the skin from the kidneys, and cut them in half. Clean the livers and cut them into two even strips. Place kidney halves and a strip of liver on top of eachbelly, touching the loin. Wrap the belly around the kidney and liver to form a cylinder, and wrap each cylinder with two sheets of caul fat, securing it in four or five places with butcher’s string.
Preheat the oven to 350°f. Heat a large, ovenproof sauté pan on low heat. Add loins and sear for 2 minutes per side, then roast in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, turning the loins halfway through. Allow to rest for 6 to 8 minutes.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add baby carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Remove them from the water and season with salt and pepper.
Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or medium saucepan to 400°f. Plunge sage leaves into the oil and fry for 3 to 4 seconds. Remove them from the oil, lightly season with salt and allow to drain on paper towels.
TO SERVE: Spoon 1 tsp of tapenade around each of four plates. Lay two ravioli at one end of the plate. Place two artichokes on one side of the ravioli and three carrots on the other. Place a thigh in the centre of the plate. Cut eachloin in half, and place a piece on either side of the thigh. Spoon the sauce overtop and around the plate. Garnish with three fried sage leaves.
Cookbook available at Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks.