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COOKING WITH GALA

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BRAISED RABBIT WITH EGG NOODLES 

1 rabbit, cut into 8 serving pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise,then cut lengthwise 1/4" slices
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 fresh orange zest, cut in 4"X1" strips
1 cinnamon stick 3-4"
2 small bay leaves
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 cups tomatoes peeled, seeded and crush with juices 
1/2 cup water
8 oz dried flat egg noodles (tagliatelle or fettuccine)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 350F. 

Rinse and pat rabbit pieces dry, then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet over moderately high heat, brown rabbit in batches, turning once, transfer to a plate. 

Reduce heat to moderate and cook onions, garlic, zest, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves in remaining 2 tablespoons oil (stir frequently) until onions are beginning to brown. Add wine and deglaze skillet by boiling, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until liquid is reduced by half, stir in tomatoes, water, remaining salt, and pepper, place rabbit pieces in sauce and bring to a simmer. 

Cover skillet tightly, braise in middle of oven 30 minutes, turn rabbit and continue to braise, covered, until rabbit is tender (another 25-30 minutes). 

While rabbit is braising, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, drain pasta well in a colander and transfer to a large platter. Discard zest, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf from sauce. Arrange rabbit over pasta, then spoon sauce over top and sprinkle with parsley. Makes 4 servings.