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Rabbit recipes

If you go out into the country in the evening, you'll see people picking grasses and such in the fields -- they're gathering food for the rabbits in their rabbit hutch. The meat is tasty, lean, and healthful.

Porchetta Style Rabbit W/ Fennel, Coniglio in Porchetta Col Finocchio
To cook a meat in porchetta is to cook it as if it were a roast pig, and though the idea of extending the technique used for roasting something as large as a big to something as small as a rabbit may seem extreme, there is a rationale to it: in parts of Lazio, Umbria, the Marche and Romagna porchetta is flavored with wild fennel, and so is this roast rabbit.

Rabbit with Zucchini Blossoms, Coniglio con Fiori di Zucca
This is a summer dish. While rabbit is available all year round, zucchino flowers only come to market in the early summer, and (alas) vanish by mid September. Here, the fried zucchini blossoms will contrast beautifully with the rabbit stewed with olives.

Rabbit with Anchovies & Almonds, Coniglio Con Le Acciughe
This is a simple rabbit in bianco, that is to say without tomato sauce, which gains a certain savory freshness from a couple of anchovies, and grace from almonds. Even if you don't think you like anchovies, you will enjoy their contribution here.

Rabbit with Anchovies and Tomatoes, Coniglio Con Acciughe E Pomodori
Anchovies are undeniably fish, but Italians also treat salted anchovies as a seasoning - they contribute salt, and the freshness of the sea to a dish. Rabbit is, well, rabbit, and quite healthy. Tasty and inexpensive, too. In short, a simple, tasty stewed rabbit.

Stewed Hare with Squash, Lepre Con La Zucca
This is an old recipe -- the combination of sweet and savory is relatively rare in modern Italian cooking -- but will be very nice in the winter months, especially if it is cold out. Though the recipe calls for hare, you could also use rabbit, or even -- if you had to -- chicken.

Country-Style Rabbit , Conejo a la Campagnola
Country-Style Rabbit, or Conejo a la Campagnola: In the Vicentino, says Amadeo Sandri, El conejo is an institution; everyone who has the space builts a hutch and raises rabbits, magnificent animals that eat freshly gathered grasses from spring to fall, and hay and semolina pap during the winter months. Every couple of years friends and relatives exchange rabbits to prevent inbreeding, arranging the exchanges in the winter months, in front of the fireplace with a good glass of wine.

Marinated Hare Prepared Following the Method of the Hunters of Cardoso
Cardoso is a town in the overlooking Versilia, the Tuscan coastal plain north of Pisa. The recipe calls for hare, but will also work well with other furred game that requires marinating to draw out the gaminess, for example wild boar, or venison.

Rabbit Spiedini -- Spiedini di Coniglio
Rabbit Spiedini, or Spiedini di Coniglio: Rabbit is a dry meat, and therefore requires help if it is to emerge from the grill without having become tough and chewy. And it does so very well in this recipe from the Abruzzo.

Stewed Rabbit Onegliese Style -- Coniglio all'Onegliese
Stewed Rabbit Onegliese Style, or Coniglio all'Onegliese: Rabbit is quite healthy, and if you go out in the country you'll see people gathering grass for the rabbits they keep in their hutch. What next? Here's a recipe from Liguria.

Sweet and Sour Rabbit -- Cunigghiu a la Stimpirata
Sweet and Sour Rabbit, or Cunigghiu a la Stimpirata: Pam writes: I'm trying to locate a recipe for a dish my father remembers from WWII in Sicily -- rabbit cooked with chocolate. Can you help?

Stuffed Boned Rabbit -- Coniglio Disossato Ripieno
Stuffed Boned Rabbit, or Coniglio Disossato Ripieno: Stuffed rabbit is a classic for Sunday dinner. This particular recipe is a little more complex than some, and comes from Versilia, the Tuscan coastal plain north of the mouth of the Arno River.

Rabbit with Pine Nuts & Black Olives -- Coniglio con Pinoli e Olive Nere
Rabbit with Pine Nuts & Black Olives, or Coniglio con Pinoli e Olive Nere: Anna Maria posted this a couple of years ago on It.Hobby Cucina, the Italian equivalent of the Rec.Foods.Cooking newsgroup; she notes it's from her home town of Groppo di Treseana in Lunigiana (Tuscany's province of Massa, inland) and that it was a Sunday dish her grandmother used to make when she was little.

Stewed Rabbit -- Coniglio in Umido
Stewed Rabbit, or Coniglio in Umido: Versilia, being a coastal plain, has lots of fish recipes. However, as is true for almost anywhere else in Italy, it's full of rabbit hutches -- they're easy to raise, prolific, and their meat is both lean and tasty.

Rabbit with Bay Leaf -- Coniglio col Lauro
When I was little I horrified a playmate in the US by asking her when her pet rabbit would be ready for butchering -- it never occurred to me that one would keep a rabbit for any other purpose, since I'd seen dozens of rabbits butchered in the kitchen of the villa that hosted my father's excavation south of Siena. This is a Lombard recipe, from...

Rabbit with Olives and Beer -- Coniglio con Le Olive e La Birra
Italy is primarily a wine country, though beer is making brisk strides, especially among young people, who find it much more approachable than wine. I'm not sure I agree with this image -- the way to approach wine is by holding out your glass and trying what's poured, and in time you learn -- brewpubs have begin to serve food as well, and beer (in this case Pale Ale) of course plays a major role. Note: Though the recipe calls for rabbit loin, boned chicken breast will also work.

Rabbit Scallops -- Scaloppini di Coniglio
Rabbit Scallops: I also had a request for scaloppini di pollo, chicken scallops. This is not my lucky day, though I did find a recipe for scaloppini di coniglio, rabbit scallops, which could be done with either chicken or veal as well.

Old-Fashioned Hare -- Liepru all’Antica
Hare and rabbit are both readily available in Italy, and though Artusi mentions a well-to-do person's being put off by the latter, they have always been popular out in the country because they're easy to catch or raise. This recipe is Calabrian.

Graziella's Stuffed Rabbit
The arrival at the coast was occasion for wonderment of many kinds -- the joy of diving into bracingly cool water, and also of enjoying boned stuffed rabbit afterwards. This is my mother-in-law's recipe, which will also work well with boned chicken, and (we think) with turkey breast. In summer it's excellent served cool, whereas it's nice hot when it's cold outside. To serve 4-6, you'll need:

Hare Paté: Pasticcio di Lepre
A rich dish for a festive meal.

Cubed Rabbit Stewed in Prosecco: Bocconcini di Coniglio al Prosecco
Tasty stewed rabbit in a creamy wine-laced sauce.

Pot Roasted Rabbit, Coniglio Arrosto
Since rabbit is a lean meat it isn't well suited to dry roasting, but is quite nice when pot roasted, and the beer used in this recipe adds a pleasant bitterness to the aftertaste.

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