1 rabbit (2 1/2- to 3 1/2-lb), cut into 8 serving pieces
salt and pepper
1/4 cup Trefethen extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh thyme
1/2 cup Trefethen Cabernet Franc
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup water
8 oz dried pappardelle
1 Tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
parmesan cheese (optional)
1Preheat oven to 350F. Pat rabbit pieces dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown rabbit in 2 batches, turning over once, about 6 minutes per batch. Remove from heat and set aside.
2Reduce heat to medium. Add onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaves to skillet along with remaining oil, stirring frequently, until onions start to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add wine and deglaze skillet, cooking until wine is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, water, salt, and pepper. Nestle rabbit pieces in sauce and bring to a simmer. Be sure that the rabbit is fully covered with liquid. Add water if necessary.
3Cover Dutch oven tightly with a lid and braise in the middle of the oven for about an hour until the rabbit is tender.
4While the rabbit is braising, cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain pasta well in a colander and transfer to a large platter.
5Discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs from sauce. Arrange rabbit over pasta, then spoon sauce over top and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Enjoy with Trefethen Cabernet Franc.