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Let’s discover together the original recipe of the Ischia rabbit

Ischia rabbit

An ancient recipe, with slow cooking, aimed at maximizing the consistency and flavor of the meat: we are talking about the Ischia rabbit.

The Ischia rabbit has its roots in 470 BC when the Syracusans invaded the island of Ischia , off the coast of Naples, and found it invaded… by rabbits. So they decided to hunt them down and cook them using the ingredients that were present on the island, namely aromatic herbs .

The addition of the tomato , as you can easily imagine, took place in a later period, after the discovery of America and gave birth to the recipe as we know it. Originally it was prepared with rabbits reared in grass pits only, but today on the island the inhabitants raise the animals themselves. However, it is important that these are not too large (maximum 1.7 kg) so that the meat remains tender.

Even cooking hides some secrets. For example, the pot must be made of earthenware and the size is measured on the basis of the number of rabbits it can contain.

Ischia rabbit
Ischia rabbit

How to cook Ischia rabbit

  1. First you need to cut the rabbit into pieces , first in half, following the spine and removing the innards (you can keep the livers), then in chunks dividing the neck, front legs, rear legs and torso in half.
  2. Wash it well under running water and let it drain in a colander. If you are not practical, you can have your trusted butcher do this job.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat plenty of seed oil (1-2 glasses will suffice) , then dip the rabbit a little at a time and let it brown for a few minutes, then turn it over and continue for another 2-3 minutes on the other side as well .
  4. Once the rabbit is fried, put it to drain on a sheet of absorbent kitchen paper and let's move on to the second cooking.
  5. In a large pan with slightly high edges (even better if it were made of clay or earthenware) heat plenty of extra virgin olive oil with the garlic , making sure it does not burn.
  6. Then add the rabbit cut into pieces and let it cook over high heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Deglaze with the wine and when you no longer feel the smell of alcohol, add the tomatoes washed and cut into rather small pieces.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Cook over low heat for at least an hour , if the sauce dries up you can add a little water.
  10. Ten minutes before the end of cooking, add the chopped parsley with the thyme and marjoram. The result should be a tender rabbit with a concentrated sauce , also perfect for seasoning pasta.

We always advise you to cook rabbit with slow and prolonged cooking recipes, so as to obtain soft and tasty meat. Try, for example, the strozzapreti with rabbit sauce . Or there's always our collection of the best rabbit recipes for you to try.


We recommend keeping the original recipe of the Ischia rabbit for a maximum of 2 days in a container with a special lid. We do not recommend freezing in the freezer.

Read also
Roast rabbit: a classic of Italian cuisine

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