- For the confit rabbit and green olive filling
- 1 medium sized rabbit (or guinea fowl, quail or even chicken if you can’t get hold of game meat)
- 300 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil (the pepperiness of Andante works well)
- 3-4 star anise
- 6 whole peppercorns
- 100 g green table olives
- 50 ml cream
- For the pasta dough
- 4 sachets saffron
- 250 ml boiling water
- 300 g OO Flour
- pinch of salt
- 30 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 7 egg yolks
- For the sauce
- 200 g butter
- 250 ml cream
- reserved saffron water (above)
- For the accompaniments
- 100 g fresh peas (shelled and peeled)
- 50 g mangetout (snowpeas)
- 4 large tomatoes
For the filling
Clean the rabbit, remove any excess pieces of fat and remove the head.
If you are lucky enough to have a pizza oven or wood fire oven, roast the rabbit for 30 minutes over an open flame for extra flavour.
Place in a large cast iron pot (Le Creuset works beautifully), cover with the olive oil and drop the spices in with it.
Bake in the oven overnight at 70°C.
In the morning, allow the oil to cool slightly and remove the rabbit. Shred the meat off the bone.
Remove the pips from the green olives and chop them finely. Add them to the rabbit and drizzle some cream over just enough to bind. Season liberally with salt and cracked black pepper.
For the pasta dough
While you cook the rabbit overnight, soak the saffron in the boiling water in a small bowl, clingwrap it and allow it to infuse overnight.
The next morning, reduce the saffron to about 100ml in a small saucepan.
Pour the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre, add the olive oil, 50ml of the saffron water and egg yolks and work into a soft, elastic dough.
Knead well until the dough is smooth and silky.
Wrap in clingfilm and allow to rest in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Using a pasta machine, roll into thin sheets (if you put your hand underneath the pasta sheet you should be able to see the silhouette of your hand clearly).
Cut out with a round cookie cutter (approximately 6cm diameter).
Spoon a scant teaspoon of filling into the centre of each disc, brush the edges of the dough with water or light eggwash, fold over and seal tightly with your fingers.
Bring the edges back around and seal together (so that it looks like a small belly button). Repeat and make about 3 tortellini per person for a starter.
Keep the tortellini covered in the fridge until you are ready to blanch them in boiling water for about 3 minutes, or until al dente and serve immediately.
For the Sauce
Melt the butter in a saucepan and allow it to bubble and froth until it is a chestnut brown colour and it smells nutty but not burned.
Gently whisk in the cream and the remainder of the reduced saffron liquid.
Place back on the stove and allow to reduce until coating consistency. For the Accompaniments
Peel the peas, blanch and refresh.
Thinly slice the mange tout beans at an angle, blanch and refresh.
Blanch and refresh the tomatoes, peel and remove the seeds. Cut into small blocks.
Toss the vegetables together and dress lightly in extra virgin olive oil.
Fry the pancetta until crispy and curly.
Blanch the tortellini and toss in olive oil
Place a small spoonful of the vegetables in the middle of the plate.
Place 3 tortellini on top and gently place some of the crispy pancetta on and around the pasta.
Using an electric handheld blender, froth the sauce up ever so slightly and drizzle over the pasta and around the plate.
Garnish with pea shoots.