For a supper that packs a game-laden punch, try Philippa Davis' hare ragout with pappardelle pasta

Philippa Davis’ hare ragout with pappardelle pasta packs a game laden punch. Thoguh hare can be a strong meat, it makes the perfect spring supper. Lighten the flavour with lashings of parmesan and white wine.

For more recipes of spring suppers, try our citrus, ricotta and honey cheesecake with a pistachio base. It’s rich and creamy enough to feel indulgent, and yet citrus adds the perfect freshness for spring.


Although hare can be regarded as a strong meat, cooking it with white wine and serving it with buttery pasta and parmesan lightens the flavour of this hare ragout. I have found that once people have tried this dish they are hare converts.

Serves 12

  • 12 hare haunches (defrosted)
  • Salt
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 sticks celery
  • 3 white onions
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 8 juniper berries, crushed
  • 6 cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 600ml (21fl oz) dry white wine
  • 1kg (2.2lb) pappardelle pasta
  • 100g (31⁄2oz) salted butter
  • 75g (3oz) pinenuts, toasted
  • 200g (7oz) rocket, chopped
  • 150g (5oz) parmesan, grated

Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 21⁄2.

To make the hare ragout, season the hare with salt then sear in batches in a frying pan using four tablespoons of the olive oil. Transfer the hare to a large roasting dish.

Finely chop the celery, onions and garlic; fry them in the same pan using the rest of the olive oil (you don’t need to soften the vegetables, only lightly caramelise them). Once they have started to take on a little colour, add the herbs and spices and the wine.

Pour all of this on to the hare, cover with baking parchment and tightly seal with foil. Bake in the preheated oven for three to four hours, or until the hare is tender and falling off the bone.

Remove from the oven and take off the foil and parchment.

When cool enough to handle, carefully pull all the meat off the bones. Stir the shredded meat back into the cooked vegetables and sauce.

When you are ready to eat, heat the hare ragout until piping hot and cook the pasta until al dente then drain. Mix in the butter. Stir the hot hare ragout into the cooked pasta and add most of the pinenuts, rocket and parmesan.

Once plated, scatter on the remaining parmesan, pinenuts and rocket.