At some point in the last century — probably sometime between Bugs Bunny and Roger Rabbit — we stopped eating rabbit. At least most of us did. But the truth is, those little woodland creatures have been a staple of hearty country diets for generations. And, most importantly, they’re delicious. Now, thanks largely to our recent fascination with nose-to-tail carnivorism, a new generation of urban men are finally digging in to the stars of their beloved childhood cartoons. Even food activists like Michael Pollan are giving the green light to rabbit meat, which requires much less space, feed, and water to grow compared to beef. Rabbits are lean, low in cholesterol, slightly sweet, loaded with vitamin B12, and easy to cook. It’s the perfect springtime protein that won’t weigh you down. That’s what’s up, Doc.
Rabbit sausage pasta with sweet corn
For the rabbit sausage
1 lbs rabbit meat, ground
3/4 tsp ground mace
3 sage leaves, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2Tbsp ice water
For the pasta
1 package dried lasagna noodles
2Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic sliced
2 corn cobs’ worth of kernels
1/2 head chopped parsley
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 grated parmesan
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a bowl, mix together the ground meat and all the spices. Gradually add the ice water and continue mixing until the meat starts to have some elasticity to it and leaves a sticky coating on the side of the bowl.
Boil a large pot of salted water and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, cut into square pieces, and set aside.
In a large non-stick frying pan, sauté the garlic in olive oil. Add the sausage and corn and continue to cook, breaking up the sausage into small pieces. Add the cooked pasta and squeeze the lemon juice into the pan. Add the chicken stock and butter. Toss in the chopped parsley and half the parmesan cheese.
Season with salt and pepper. Serve in a large family-style bowl and garnish with the remaining cheese. Serves 4-6.
Connie Desousa of Calgary’s Charcut Roast House, one of the nation’s top destinations for all things meat, knows a little about prepping bunnies. “When people are cooking rabbit for the first time, I often recommend that they treat it as a neutral meat like chicken,” she says. “It’s mild, but takes on flavours really well, too. It’s super tender and you don’t have to worry about cooking the heck out of it.”