Ischia-Style Rabbit

I love rabbit dishes and I was thrilled to discover this lovely recipe when visiting the beautiful island of Ischia. It’s a, if not the, signature dish of the island’s cuisine, and fresh tomatoes and basil give it a distinctively Italian touch.

For a larger portion, you can use a whole rabbit (jointed into 6-8 pieces). For a smaller portion, I prefer using just the legs.

Roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables make an excellent side.

Sanni

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 2 rabbit legs
  • freshly ground pepper, salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, whole and slightly pressed down (e.g. using the flat side of the blade of a large kitchen knife)
  • 150 grams of small whole shallots or pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 red chili, cut in half lengthways, seeds and membrane remove and sliced
  • 250 ml of white wine
  • 400 ml of vegetable stock
  • 200 grams of grape tomatoes, whole
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of basil, roughly chopped
  • For serving: 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil

Preparation:

  1. Season the rabbit legs with salt and pepper.
  2. Sauté in a frying pan over a high heat with a little olive oil. When golden-brown, set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and use the same pan and oil (add another tablespoon if necessary) to fry the garlic from all sides for 1-2 minutes, then remove and discard.
  4. Add the shallots and fry for a few minutes until golden.
  5. Add the chili, the rabbit legs and deglaze with the white wine. 
  6. Let reduce by approximately 1/3, then add the vegetable stock and the tomatoes.
  7. Leave to simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
  8. Add the herbs and continue to let simmer until you obtain a thick sauce (roughly around 30 to 45 minutes).
  9. Serve with garnish of chopped fresh basil.

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