Sella di coniglio al tartufo con lenticchie e cavolfiore gratinato

The second month of the Balla regional Italian dinners is underway. This month the culinary focus at Osteria Balla is on Piemonte (Piedmont). In Sydney it’s mid winter. And you know what Piemonte and winter means – yes that’s right – truffles. Our writer Kurt Huth popped along with his family to try out the menu, with his 11 year ‘foodie’ son actually ordered the rabbit dish. Kurt said the dinner was “yummo” and he even brought home the recipe from Chef Stefano Manfredi to share with you.

Sella di coniglio al tartufo con lenticchie e cavolfiore gratinato
rabbit loin with bread and truffle stuffing, braised lentils, grilled cauliflower and Reggiano

2 rabbit saddles, carefully boned as one whole piece
1 onion, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic
100g butter
2 cups of breadcrumbs
50g Italian mustard fruit, finely sliced
100g grated parmesan
1 cup fresh sage leaves
1 cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Truffle pieces (offcuts)
6 slices prosciutto
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Make the stuffing by lightly frying the onion and garlic in the butter until they are soft but not burnt. Take from the heat and add to the breadcrumbs, the mustard fruits, Parmesan, parsley, half the sage leaves (chopped), salt and pepper. Mix well and let it cool down. Add truffle pieces and mix in. Lay the prosciutto slices flat on a clean board or a clean kitchen bench in two sets of four so that each slice is slightly overlapping the previous one. Put one rabbit saddle on the first set of three prosciutto slices and the other saddle on the next set. Distribute the stuffing evenly into the middle of each, making sure that the stuffing is just enough to roll (too much will be difficult to hold). Roll up so that the prosciutto covers the loin completely in a tight sausage. Wrap it tight in cling film and set in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Vac pac each loin. Water bath at 65C for 20-25 minutes depending on size. Finish by browning cooked loin in a pan or grill. Slice and serve with lentils, cauliflower, reduced rabbit sauce and some truffle slices.

Lenticchie e cavolfiore gratinato
braised lentils, grilled cauliflower and Reggiano
1/2 medium-sized head of cauliflower
100g lentils, washed
1/2 celery heart finely chopped
1 small carrot finely chopped
1 small onion finely chopped
1 small leek sliced into half rounds about 1/2 cm thick
1 sprig rosemary chopped
1 sprig thyme chopped
1 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic minced
100g ripe Roma tomatoes, pureed
Extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
60g Fontina (grated)
60g Parmesan (grated)

In a braising pan, lightly fry the vegetables off in a little extra virgin olive oil until they soften, without colouring them. Add the chopped rosemary and thyme and continue to sweat. Add lentils and stir. Add water and tomato till lentils are covered.

Cook until lentils are tender – 40 to 60 minutes. Add more water if necessary during cooking.

When lentils are cooked, stir in crushed garlic, parsley and seasoning. Cool until needed.

Poach (or steam) the cauliflower in boiling water till tender. Cool, then slice 2cm thick slices from top to bottom. Place the slices on an oven tray brushed with a little extra virgin olive oil and cover each piece with a mixture of Fontina and Parmesan. Roast in a preheated 180C oven for 10-12 minutes until the cheese has melted. Serve on the braised lentils. Sprinkle a little chopped parsley on top.

Osteria Balla
The Star
80 Pyrmont Street Pyrmont
+ 61 2 9777 9000

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