Coche y Pepe
For this dish at Destino, a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., chef Robert Aikens pays tribute to Mexico’s influence on Italian cuisine.
He starts by braising rabbit legs in white wine and water with onions, garlic, and a sachet of thyme, epazote, bay leaves, and cilantro, plus sliced cremini mushrooms along with a sachet of dried mushrooms to enhance the flavor and a little charcoal to deepen the color.
He removes the rabbit before it’s completely tender so it’s not dry, cools it and picks the meat. He strains the braising liquid and cooks it down to around a quarter of its original volume, and then adds the garlic and onions back in.
At service he reheats the rabbit in a pan with butter, olive oil, and the reduced braising liquid. He boils spaghetti and adds it along with some of the pasta water to the rabbit, plus grated pecorino Romano and cotija cheeses, lemon juice, epazote, and, at the last minute, huitlacoche. He plates that in a bowl with black pepper, pickled finely diced Fresno chiles, and more cotija and pecorino Romano.