This is a pasta sauce specifically designed for hare, or jackrabbit. If you don't have one lying around, don't substitute rabbit -- use a piece of lamb, venison or beef instead. It's a red meat ragu. Nothing else in this recipe is hard to find. As for pasta, I made my own pappardelle pasta, and you can use any one of my pasta recipes to make your own. Or you can buy fresh pappardelle or just use dried spaghetti. This sauce keeps well in the fridge for a week or so, and can be frozen.
If you need to soak the jackrabbit pieces, submerge them in buttermilk overnight. The next day, hack them into large pieces with a cleaver or kitchen shears. This will make them cook faster and fall off the bone easier. Rinse the hare under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the hare pieces well. Take your time and do this in batches. Don't let the pieces touch each other as they brown. Salt them as they cook. When browned, set aside.
When the meat has been browned, add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies begin to brown. Add the meat back to the pot, then the sage, rosemary, bay leaves and dried mushrooms. Mix well and allow to cook for a minute.
Whisk together the tomato paste and wine and add that to the pot. Add the vinegar. Turn the heat to high to bring everything to a boil, then add the can of crushed tomatoes. Mix well, drop the heat to a bare simmer -- only a few bubbles coming up to the surface -- cover and let this cook until the hare meat wants to fall off the bone, up to 3 1/2 hours.
When the meat is tender, fish out the bay leaves and discard. Remove the hare pieces and pull the meat from the bones. Return it to the pot. Ladle out about 1/3 to 1/2 of the sauce and put it into a food mill with a medium grate attached. Alternately, put it into a food processor or blender. Puree, meat and all. If you use a food mill you will have some dry, stringy hare meat left in the mill; discard or feed to your pets. Return the puree to the pot.
Serve with pasta of your choice. I serve by putting the pasta in a large bowl, tossing it with a ladle of the sauce, then plating. I top each plate with some more sauce, then some parsley and some grated pecorino cheese.