Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
Southern Italians are very fond of country-style rabbit dishes. In Sorrento, you begin the preparation for the following dish by making a visit to the market to pick out a fresh rabbit. Then it must be cleaned, cut into pieces, and soaked to remove some of its gaminess.
We do not have the same demand for rabbit as in Italy, but if you can find it fresh rather then frozen, you will be surprised at how delicate this dish is.
2 pounds rabbit pieces
¼ pound pancetta or salt pork, diced
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped onions
½ cup King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary or teaspoon dried
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine, preferably Soave
3 tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup shelled fresh peas
Place the rabbit pieces in a bowl and add cold water to cover. Add the lemon juice and refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Remove the rabbit pieces from the water and dry well. Combine the flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and lightly flour the rabbit pieces.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the rabbit pieces and brown them on all sides. Add the pancetta or salt pork and sauté for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the rosemary and remove from heat.
Spread the onions in the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange the rabbit pieces, with pancetta or salt pork, on top. Add the wine, peas, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes, or until the rabbit pieces are tender.
Serve in the baking dish or transfer the rabbit to a serving platter and spoon the vegetables and pan juices over.
This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1991.