Goat Cheese and Kale Spelt Ravioli with Roasted Rabbit, Asparagus and Cream

Chef John Piombo of Nonna's at The Homestead prepared this recipe for mynorth.com's video series Chef Showdown: Local Foods mynorth.com, the online home of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine, challenged Northern Michigan chefs to prepare a dish that is made with 95 percent Michigan products. We call it the Chef Showdown: Local Foods. Northern Michigan’s chefs, including Chef Jon Piombo of Nonna's at The Homestead in Glen Arbor, responded with gusto!

The rules? Prepare a dish of your choice, savory or sweet, but 90 percent of the ingredients must be either raised, grown or foraged in Northern Michigan and an additional 5 percent must be raised, grown or foraged somewhere in Michigan. Additionally, the chefs agreed to provide our readers with their recipes and list of local ingredients—so the MyNorth audience could shop local and prepare the dishes themselves at home.

With so much goodness coming from so many restaurant kitchens we sent MyNorth Media videographer Kris Riley to capture the action in high-definition video. Click to watch the video of Chef Piombo preparing this dish. To watch the other videos in this series go to mynorth.com and type “Chef Showdown: Local Foods” into the search bar.


  • 4 each rabbit front legs, Bunny Hop Farms, Cedar
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 sprig fresh thyme, Hudsonville
  • 4 sprig fresh rosemary Hudsonville
  • 4 clove garlic Hudsonville Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups spelt flour Vita Spelt, Okemos
  • 3 each eggs Land of Goshen, Manistee  
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup kale Land of Goshen, Manistee
  • 3 tablespoons caprine Land of Goshen, Manistee
  • 1 pinch marjoram Hudsonville
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 each egg yolk ( for filling) Land of Goshen, Manistee
  • 1 each egg (for brushing on pasta) Land of Goshen, Manistee
  • 4 tablespoons semolina or corn meal ( to prevent ravioli from sticking)
Pan sauce
  • 4 cups 40% cream Shetler's Dairy, Kalkaska
  • 2  tablespoon unsalted butter Land of Goshen, Manistee
  • ¼ each onion finely diced, Hudsonville
  • 8 each asparagus spears snapped at natural point Norconk Farms, Empire
  •  Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup white wine Circa Winery, Lake Leelanau
  • ¼ cup grana padano
  • 3 tablespoon goat cheese cheddar Land of Goshen, Manistee
  • 2 sprig basil, torn Hudsonville
  • 1 sprig minced rosemary Hudsonville


Rabbit Soak rabbit in milk overnight. Remove from milk and pat dry. Place rabbit on sheet pan and season both sides with salt and pepper. Add herbs and garlic to each leg. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Remove foil to brown and bake for another 20 minute. Remove from oven, let cool. Separate leg from thigh (use leg as garnish), pull thigh meat. Retain bones and herbs for cooking ravioli. Pasta Make a well on work surface with spelt flour.Add eggs and slowly incorporate until you can work dough by hand.Knead dough until achieved consistency.  Wrap and allow to rest for one hour. Filling Blanche kale in salted boiling water, transfer to ice bath to cool, drain and remove excess waterIn food processor combine kale, caprine, egg yolk marjoram, nutmeg and pulse.  Coarse is good for texture. Assembly Roll out pasta sheet to thinnest setting on pasta machine  *(rolling pin may be used)Brush pasta sheet with egg Place filling on pasta sheet leaving yourself a two finger width between each filling Fold over and secure a tight seal (this is where the egg comes in) Cut with pasta wheel or knifeDust with semolina or corn meal, place on dish and refrigerate. Final Assembly of Dish and Pan Sauce In a saute pan over medium heat combine butter and onions cook until onions are translucentAdd white wine and reduce by half.Add asparagus, cream, and grana padano ..In the mean time...(for ravioli)Boiling salted water (this is also from our great state)  with bones and herbs to achieve a nice stock. Remove bones and discard.Add ravioli and cook for 3 to 4 minutes Final assembly... Add pulled rabbit to sauce ( we just want to heat it because it is already cooked)Add fresh herbs Toss ravioli in sauce present on plate. Grate goat cheese cheddarHeated reserved drumsticks for garnish