Congilio all’ Ischitana
CONIGLIO all ISCHITANA
Rabbit in the Style of Ishcia
There is no question at all, that Coniglio all Ischitana is by far the most popular and well-known dish in all of Ischia. The island of Ischia is much larger than its more famous nieghbor, Capri, and the island is filled with many vineyards where grapes are grown for the islands wonderful wines. And all over the island, in the vineyards, up the mountains, and in the woods, wild rabbits roam and have been the main source of meat on Ischia for hundreds of years.
Yes they make wonderful wine in Ischia, and if you are ever there, eating this famed rabbit dish, you must drink one of the island’s tasty wines. Biancolella is oh so delicious, and the wine most popular all around Ischia. Another fine white wine is made from the native Forastera grapes, and if you’re looking for a robus red, Per Palumm (Piedirosso) is robust and up to the task to pair with Coniglio Ischitana, or and grilled, roast, or braised meat that might be on the table.
1 small Rabbit (2 /2 lbs), cut into 8 pieces
1/4 cup Italian Olive Oil
4 cloves Garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small Onion, peeled and diced
¾ cup dry White Wine
Sea Salt & Black Pepper (teaspoon each)
1 – 28 ounce can San Marzano Plum Tomatoes
⅛ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
3 sprigs Fresh Thyme ( or 1 teaspoon dry Thyme)
Place olive oil in a large pot and turn heat to medium. Add half of the rabbit, and cook for 6 minutes on all sides. Sprinkle a little salt and black pepper over the rabbit pieces and continue cooking for a few minutes until the rabbit is nicely browned (3 to 4 minutes more).
Remove the rabbit with a large slotted spoon, and set aside on a large plate. Place the remaining rabbit in the pot, and cook just as you did in preceding step.
Remove rabbit pieces from pot.
Add the garlic and onions and cook over a low flame, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes.
Add half the wine to the pot, and tun heat to high, and scrape the bottom of the pot so you will deglaze the pan, lifting the brown bits on the bottom of the put into the liquid. Let cook at high for 3 minutes.
Add the remaining wine and all the rabbit to the pot, and cook on medium heat until the wine has reduce to ⅓ its original volume.
Add the tomatoes to the pot, with the Thyme, the Red Pepper Flakes, and the remaining salt and Black Pepper.
Bring the liquid to the boil, then quickly lower to a simmer, and let the Rabbit cook until tender, about 45 to 55 minutes more.
Turn the heat off, the Rabbit is done.
In homes in Ischia, families usually remove about half of the sauce from the pot, to lightly dress some spaghetti or maccheroni, as a primi course that preceeds eating the Rabbit as the main course (Secondo). We recommend you doing this. The rabbit does not need a lot of sauce to coat and eat it, and a little sauce on some pasta, sprinkled with a bit of grated cheese is a wonderful way of eat the dish.
You can serve the Rabbit on its own with the braising sauce, and if you like, you can serve some sauteed greens or whatever vegetable that you like on the side.
Buon Appetito !
Daniel Bellino Zwicke
POSITANO The AMALFI COAST – Travel Guide / Cookbook and Stories of Capri, Ischia, Naples and The Amalfi Coast Italy.
POSITANO is COMING SOON
by Daniel Bellino Zwicke
TRAVEL GUIDE / COOKBOOK
Of NAPLES CAPRI ISCHIA
The AMALFI COAST