Great Gift

The pappardelle with braised rabbit and root vegetables ($18) at Trevisio (6550 Bertner Ave., 713-749-0400) is like a present. The leg of rabbit comes gift-wrapped in inch-thick ribbons of pappardelle pasta. The meat is soaked overnight in a red wine-and-rosemary marinade, then braised in it the next morning until the meat falls off the bone; fresh juniper berries give it a wild, lusty taste. The pasta, briefly dunked in boiling water just before serving, quickly soaks up the marinade's zippy flavors. Minced and sautéed celery, carrots and onion round out the taste of the dish's marinara sauce, which is so thick it clings to the meat and pasta. Freshly grated Parmesan resembles a fine lace veil atop the pappardelle.
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Carol Rust