Coniglio alla Toscana

Tuscan Rabbit Casserole

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    8 to 10

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

Rabbit is a much-loved and respected meat in most parts of Italy, but perhaps especially in Tuscany, where every smallholding, farm or country home will have a few chickens and some rabbits kept for eating purposes in the back garden. Rabbit is lean and tasty, and at least 50 or so well-known recipes exist that are frequently and lovingly cooked in order to enjoy this delicious meat. This is a truly ancient recipe, apparently dating back to the time of the Etruscans, and is a thoroughly tried-and-tested way of cooking rabbit, although the method also works with jointed chicken. Serve with polenta or roast potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 rabbits, about 900 g/2 lb each, each cut into five pieces
  • 90 ml/6 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 large rosemary sprigs
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp sea salt
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 75 ml/2 ½ fl oz/ cup olive oil
  • 750 ml/¼ pints/3 cups red wine
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp tomato paste
  • polenta or roast potatoes, to serve

Method

  1. Put the rabbit joints into a bowl. Mix the wine vinegar with 600 ml/1 pint/ cups water and pour over the rabbit. Soak for 1 hour.

  2. Drain the rabbit joints and dry them carefully on kitchen paper. Chop half the garlic cloves and one rosemary sprig and mix them with the salt and pepper. Rub this mixture all over the rabbit joints.

  3. Chop the remaining garlic. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the garlic and remaining rosemary. Fry the rabbit joints all over until brown. Add the red wine gradually, so that it simmers constantly.

  4. Stir in the tomato paste and 300 ml/½ pint/ cups hot water. Cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve.