And let’s continue on the rabbit subject 🙂 but this time I’m going all Maltese. With Rabbit being considered the national dish, Spaghetti with Rabbit Sauce, Rabbit Stew and fried Rabbit is on the menu everywhere. Out here, if you feel like enjoying these dishes, then you want a “Fenkata” 🙂
I heard that Fenkata was “born” because the Maltese were not allowed to eat rabbits when the knights ruled the island, whilst the knights used to hunt them and eat them all the time. The Maltese were only allowed to eat rabbit during “Imnajra” (St Peter’s and St Paul’s Feast in June) and so they used to make the most of it. And making rabbit the national dish was their way of showing the knights what they thought of this rule 🙂 Please, correct me if this story is all wrong… I am only telling you what I’ve heard 🙂
So let’s go back to the start of my Fenkata 🙂 You start the meal with a nice plate of spaghetti with sauce made of the offal and any other small pieces of rabbit. Then the remaining rabbit will be used for the main stew, or for frying. I found this recipe on the Times of Malta when I first arrived to Malta. I had only tried it once in a restaurant and I was pretty happy with the taste of my own. Since then I have tried other versions but I wanted to share with you my first one 🙂
Spaghetti with Rabbit sauce
- 500 g spaghetti
- 1 rabbit head offal and any other small pieces of rabbit meat
- 2 onions diced
- 3 gloves of garlic chopped
- 1 celery stick chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- Peas to taste
- 2 fresh tomatoes
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- 2 cups red wine
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley chopped
- In a medium heat flame, heat a sauce pan with olive oil. Seal the rabbit pieces and remove.
- In the same pan, add the onions, garlic and celery. Fry for 2 min while mixing.
- Add the mixed spice, bay leaves and the rabbit pieces. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.
- Mix in the tomato paste and chopped tomatoes. Stir and let it cook for 5 min.
- Pour over the red wine and leave to reduce by half. Add the chicken stock and when is back to the boil add the peas. Let it cook till the peas are done and the sauce is nice and thick.
- At this stage, prepare the spaghetti according to the instructions on the pack.
- When the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and add it to the rabbit sauce. Season with salt and pepper and tossed it around to coat the spaghetti with the sauce.
- Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley