Jason has gone to my happy place without me.

A week-long business trip to New York, by himself, is just about as much salt as you can rub on a bloody wound of someone who’s doing her time in doggy-prison.  Right.  Perhaps I’ve failed to mention that for the past 6 months, I haven’t been able to leave my apartment for more than 12 hours because these days, a pot of hot caramel is constantly bubbling on my stove.  That’s just the code-words for my 14-years-old dog, Dumpling, with his very inconvenient heart condition that has rendered me immobile as well.  So, right, no NYC for mommy, or anywhere else for that matter…  But, as if squatting in my prison-cell isn’t responsible enough, now I’m being thrown into the “the cooler”…

As I am scraping these words with my finger nails onto the concrete walls of my solitary confinement, I guess it’s only appropriate to also drench myself… in gushing orange.




May I introduce you, The Hot Bunny pasta sauce.

Relax… it’s just carrots.  No actual bunny was injured in the making of this pasta sauce, however, I can’t say that much about the dish that inspired it.  I recently read a New York Times review for Gato, Bobby Flay new restaurant on Lafayette, and was immediately taken away by his – no pun intended – rabbit fregola sarda w/ carrot hot sauce.  Serving rabbits with carrot hot sauce?!  I mean, how brilliantly cruel is that?  If I were a human-eating alien, that’s like serving braised Koreans in kimchi stew, or barbecued-American burgers w/ ketchup , or Scottish-men stuffed haggis, or simply, raw Japanese sashimi (clearly the isolation is taking an effect…).  Totally hilarious! (……. I hear voices…….).

Obviously, I haven’t set a foot inside Gato let alone sampling its dishes, as well as having any tool or will to handle any game-meat (why~ because I just traded my mini-blade for a bar of soap…), but the idea of a spicy, peppery and brightly orange-suited pasta sauce fits very appropriately into my mental preparation for what’s coming…



So the night before Jason’s departure to my desolation, I made a jar of The Hot bunny sauce.  I lovingly browned the anchovies in butter and cooked the carrots with lots of red chiis until soft.  I blended it with tons of brightening agents such as vinegar, garlic, Dijon mustard and fresh nutmegs, then tossed it with pasta along with more chili oil and tons of Parmigiano cheese.  It was surprisingly tasty, perfect, actually.  Unexpectedly robust in flavour, warm, creamy, spicy and mildly sweet.  But most importantly, as fierce and vibrant as my current, orange state of mind.

The rest of the jar is quietly sitting inside the fridge, watching my back.  And I think with its help, I might just make it out of my prison-time in one piece.


Servings: 4

Carrots are just one of those things that vary greatly in sizes, so when in doubt, go with measuring by weight.

Try not to dial down on the number of red jalapeno/red chili in this recipe.  It’s important for the peppery-ness and fruity-ness of the chilis to come through prominently in the sauce.  If you want to reduce the spiciness a little bit without reducing flavour, removing the seeds of the chili will help.  Then importantly, don’t forget to grate fresh nutmeg over the pasta before serving.  It’s just as important as good, aged Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, which will add depth and complexity to the overall flavour!


  • The hot bunny sauce:
    • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
    • 4 fillets of anchovies in olive oil
    • 3 medium-size carrots (530 grams), peeled and diced
    • 5 ~ 7 red jalapeño peppers (or large red Asian chili peppers), roughly diced
    • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
    • 1/2 tsp of salt
    • 1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup of chicken stock + another 1/2 cup
    • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 1 1/2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp of sugar
    • 1/2 tsp of white wine vinegar
    • 1/4 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1/8 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • For the pasta (you can half the recipe for 2 servings):
    • Approx 400 grams of spaghetti pasta
    • 6 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
    • 1/2 ~ 1 tsp of chili flakes (according to your tolerance for heat)
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • Nutmeg for grating
    • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for grating

To make the hot bunny sauce:  In a large sauce pot, cook the anchovies with unsalted butter over medium-high heat.  Use a wooden spoon to break up the anchovies and let melt into the butter.  Add the peeled and diced carrots, diced red jalapeño peppers (or large red Asian chili peppers), fresh thyme, salt and freshly ground black pepper, and sauté for 2 min.  Then add 1/2 cup of chicken stock, then reduce the liquid until almost all evaporated, and that the carrots are soft.  Turn off the heat, and add the other 1/2 cup of chicken stock, and scrape the sides and bottom of the pot to release any browned bits.

Transfer the mixture to a blender, then add the heavy cream, garlic, Dijon mustard, sugar, white wine vinegar, freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon.  Blend the mixture until as smoothly and evenly pureed as possible.  Transfer to a jar and store in the fridge until needed.

To make the pasta:  Bring a large pot of well-salted water to boil, and cook the spaghetti until al dente.

In another large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the extra virgin olive oil with chili flakes until fragrant.  Add the spaghetti into the skillet, along with 1/4 cup of the pasta water, and the hot bunny sauce.  Toss the pasta and the sauce together with a tong, and cook until the pasta water has evaporated.  Serve the pasta with drizzles of extra virgin olive oil, more freshly grated nutmeg, and lots lots of grated Parmigiano cheese.


  • Belinda@themoonblushbaker

    June 16, 2014 at 6:57 PM Reply

    You definitely know how to draw the best out of plain pack of pasta. I send my condolences for dumpling and your aching heart. I would gladly say with you and eat pasta all night.

  • Anne

    June 16, 2014 at 7:08 PM Reply

    I feel for you… but the bunny and human eating part was hilarious. :)
    That looks delightful!

  • David

    June 16, 2014 at 7:34 PM Reply

    Sounds intriguing. I wonder what other similar veggies would taste like prepared in a similar fashion? Root vegetables FTW!

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      June 17, 2014 at 3:34 AM Reply

      DAVID, I think most root veggies will work nice, beets..etc… Asian daikon is another wild thought…..

  • charlene taylor

    June 16, 2014 at 7:50 PM Reply

    Wow does this sound fantastic.. and looks beautiful as well!

  • Nibbling Nomad

    June 16, 2014 at 7:51 PM Reply

    I’m not a fan of carrots, but this looks mighty tasty . . . you have inspired me to cook with carrots.

  • Sini | my blue&white kitchen

    June 16, 2014 at 8:14 PM Reply

    Bunny served with hot carrot sauce; a truly cruel yet brilliant dish [Although, I would love to have a bite as I think rabbit actually is one of those widely undervalued ingredients…well at least outside of France, Italy, and Germany that is.]. This hot bunny sauce without the actually bunny is actually blowing my mind right now. My mouth waters already.

  • Jason

    June 16, 2014 at 9:24 PM Reply

    I have been in Colombia for the past 6 months and I have a list of stuff I can’t wait until I get back to the USA to make from your blog. This one, Mochi Donuts, Crack slurp 1, Kombu Miso butter sauce, CHAMOMILE WHIPPED CREAM, CHEWY LAYERED ROTI + KICKASS DIP, VIETNAMESE Chả Cá FISH TACO, MEXICAN CHORIZO + GARLIC SHRIMP BURGER, and THE IMPLODING HONEY CUSTARD CAKE. It is gonna be a busy 5 weeks in the USA. I found you blog, on the imploding honey cake, so I am sure there is a bunch of cool stuff, before that too.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      June 16, 2014 at 9:27 PM Reply

      JASON: Wow! That’s an ambitious schedule you got planning there! Meanwhile, I hope you are having some delicious things in Columbia :)

  • cheri

    June 16, 2014 at 9:52 PM Reply

    Love your bunny sauce, the ingredients are genius. So much flavor, not sure how you come up with all these great meals but your site is one of my favorites. Thanks!

  • cynthia

    June 16, 2014 at 9:56 PM Reply

    BOOOOO!!!!! I’m so sad you’re not here in NY! I guess to console myself I might have to make this absolutely incredible-looking pasta sauce… I GUESS. :( Sending love to you and Dumpling <3

  • Victoria

    June 17, 2014 at 12:59 AM Reply

    First, I’m so glad that you’re doing the responsible thing as the parent of a four-legged child and staying home to care for Dumpling in his senior years. I know it’s a sacrifice, but I’m certain Dumpling really appreciates your loyalty.

    Reading this recipe and regarding the gorgeous photographs made my mouth water. I can’t wait to try it out. Question: I’m on a low, low carb diet. How do you think this would work with spaghetti squash, instead of pasta?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      June 17, 2014 at 1:24 AM Reply

      VICTORIA, oh boy… Low carb… Honestly if I were going to take away pasta, I would just eat this by the spoon… Or put them over poached eggs or fish. Carrots and squash already tastes kinda similar, I think it might be lost a little…

      • Victoria

        June 17, 2014 at 1:39 AM Reply

        Mandy – you’re totally right. Eggs….that’s what I’ll do! Thanks again.

  • Millie l Add A Little

    June 17, 2014 at 1:07 AM Reply

    Ok, this sounds amazing Mandy! Love the colour and the ingredients look fab – anchovies and carrots?! Can’t wait to try it out!!

  • opinionatedchef

    June 17, 2014 at 8:23 AM Reply

    mandy, as usual, another terrific piece of writing. I have to tell you that I was particularly drawn to the title because of recently having discovered a So.African ‘national dish’ called Bunny Chow, which is curry based (think of the Dutch monopolizing the spice trade, and colonizing Indonesia and So.Africa). I started a Chowhound thread called Curry Rules the Food World where someone mentioned Bunny Chow:

    What I love about your carrot sauce is how smart you are to understand how dull it would be with just the sweetness of carrots, choosing to include anchovies and chiles and parm to beautifully balance out the depths of flavor. I think sauteed chopped walnuts would make a good textural and nutty addition too, and i’d like to experiment with sitting it on a bed of sauteed garlic greens.

    You really are something, Mandy! What a treat to be inspired by you.

  • Todd

    June 17, 2014 at 12:29 PM Reply

    What a tasty looking sauce. Now this is how I want my carrots ALL the time!

  • Reem

    June 17, 2014 at 7:44 PM Reply

    Not only I love reading your blog but the more I read the more I crave… I know it has a lot to do with delicious food, your writing that I can read over n over again and tons of sichuan pepper n loads of sriracha n the right amount of sweetness. ..
    Honestly I don’t know if I even make any sense right now but all I want to say I Love Your Blog!!!!
    Its 4 in the morning n I’m on ur blog leaving this comment… Do I need to say more? ???

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      June 17, 2014 at 7:51 PM Reply

      REEM: Ohh thank you!!! I hope I didn’t make you get out of bed and eat something you’re not supposed to at 4 am! Something spicy… something starchy… oh I’m gonna stop…

      • Reem

        June 18, 2014 at 11:58 AM Reply

        I ate leftover cold n spicy n oily n carb loathing chowmein… before the sunrise… n I felt good n filthy n satisfied… lol
        Food n this crazy life makes me do things that I should not talk about.

  • Diana

    June 23, 2014 at 2:59 AM Reply

    I made this sauce the day the article came out. We served it w roasted cauliflower. It was Fabulous! I woke up at night thinking about it and had to share it with my friends. Everyone needs to eat this sauce!

  • Abbe@This is How I Cook

    June 24, 2014 at 9:02 AM Reply

    Love this recipe. hope Dumpling is hanging in there. NYC will always be there!

  • Devi

    July 1, 2014 at 7:04 AM Reply

    Made this last week, DELICIOUS. I recently discovered your site, and I’m so glad I did. Also, The Hot Bunny is the best name ever.

  • Ida

    August 5, 2014 at 8:30 PM Reply

    I made this today. It was so delicious! Thank you for this amazing recipe. You should be a professional chef.

  • Rose

    October 1, 2014 at 3:31 PM Reply

    Hello I would like to find out where i can buy the popsicle mold that you use. Thank you.

  • Leslie Miller

    October 6, 2014 at 8:50 AM Reply

    Is it a coincidence or did you artfully lead with a photo of spoon and carrot sauce that resembles a rabbit?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      October 6, 2014 at 1:20 PM Reply

      Leslie: hahaa that’s good imagination! I didn’t.. it’s too cruel to give the rabbit only one ear (the spoon?)!

  • Robert Batta

    October 16, 2014 at 10:07 PM Reply

    Hi Mandy!

    The Hot Bunny Party in my little room restorant :) Everybody love it!!

    Thanks for the recipe!


  • Cristine

    March 18, 2015 at 10:46 PM Reply

    This was so good! Thank you for this recipe!

  • Maia

    March 30, 2015 at 12:15 AM Reply

    Hello! This looks amazing, I’m wondering about substitutes for the anchovies though?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      March 30, 2015 at 12:45 AM Reply

      Maia, I’m not sure there could be a substitute for anchovies…. To be honest. Pancetta? But it’s completely different

      • Maia

        March 30, 2015 at 1:44 AM Reply

        Okay, I’ll have to just suck it up/get over my fear of anchovies! Thank you for the reply, I am making this tonight and I’m just tring to think of a green veggie to serve it with. Can’t wait to try it!

  • Laura

    June 20, 2015 at 10:01 AM Reply

    Ah. I’m so grateful the universe guided me to your Instagram account. This was the first recipe of yours I’ve tried. simple and delicious!

    Your blog is so entertaining and your recipes are clear and tasty.

    I can’t wait try more of your recipes.

  • Ariel N.

    March 19, 2016 at 8:16 AM Reply

    Thanks for the great recipe! I never thought carrots could be so flavourful and make such a great sauce. The spices were so warming as well.

    I know the anchovies are an essential ingredient but I didn’t have any so I used a tiny bit of fish sauce and, chipotles in adobo instead of the jalapenos. It was still really good. I’ll definitely try it will all the original ingredients next time.
    It was definitely enough sauce for way more than 400g of spaghetti, for me.

    Also, love your creativity. So glad I came across your unique blog!

  • Hasti Ghaznavi

    July 20, 2016 at 6:41 PM Reply

    Can I substitute the red jalapeños for green jalapeño?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      July 21, 2016 at 1:28 AM Reply

      Hasti, the only concern I have is that the green color may add a brownish hue to the sauce. But if you don’t care then it’s all good. Or you can try other long red chilies similar to red jalapeño :)

      • Hasti G.

        July 23, 2016 at 4:01 PM Reply

        Thank you

  • umroh januari

    December 5, 2016 at 5:59 PM Reply

    i was try and very delicious. thanks for shared.

  • paket Umroh Khazzanah

    December 12, 2016 at 9:14 AM Reply

    It looks very delicious, I’ll try it.. Thanks fo sharing.

  • Laura Watts-Ruth

    August 15, 2017 at 10:52 AM Reply

    So, I just made this, possibly for the 6th or 7th time. It’s always a home run. Recently, we acquired an exchange student from China. He’s from the eastern coast, across from Taiwan. He’s become family, as it’s his second year staying with us. It’s been challenging finding dishes he loves. Likes, sure, but love, not so much.

    This was the first time I made the dish for him and he returned for seconds. I felt so victorious. Thank you, Mandy. <3

  • Laura Watts-Ruth

    August 15, 2017 at 10:53 AM Reply

    So, I just made this, possibly for the 6th or 7th time. It’s always a home run. Recently, we acquired an exchange student from China. He’s from the eastern coast, across from Taiwan. He’s become family, as it’s his second year staying with us. It’s been challenging finding dishes he loves. Likes, sure, but love, not so much.

    This was the first time I made the dish for him and he returned for seconds. I felt so victorious. Thank you, Mandy. <3

  • Melissa Maedgen

    May 7, 2020 at 6:03 AM Reply

    I know this recipe was posted years ago, but I’m making it right now and see a problem with the number of carrots and the weight given. I have a 1 pound (454 gram) bag of carrots that contains 10 carrots that I would consider medium. And yet you say that 3 carrots should weigh 530 grams. This has to be a typo of some sort. Is the weight correct or the number of carrots?

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