Coniglio con le Olive alla Ligure (Rabbit with Olives)

I particularly like to prepare rabbit. I guess it is because when I was a child my mom would often cook rabbit and it was always delicious. This is a recipe from the region of Liguria. Served with warm polenta, it is a perfect dish for winter.


  • one rabbit (ask the butcher to cut it in 8 pieces), with its liver
  • 1 clove of garlic, cleaned and halved
  • 3 small onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 stock of celery, finely chopped
  • rosemary, leaves finely chopped (discard the stem)
  • thyme leaves (discard the stem)
  • 4 leaves of sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt (I used Trapani coarse salt), black pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of red wine
  • 3/4
  •  cup of water
  • pitted Niçoise olives

In a large pot heat the oil, add the garlic and let it become golden. Add the rabbit and let it brown on all sides. Add the herbs, the onions, and the celery. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the wine and the water. Take the rabbit’s liver, cut it in very small pieces and mush it with a fork, then add it to the rabbit. The liver will give a nice flavor to the sauce!

Lower the heat, cover with a lid, and cook for 30 minutes.

Take the lid off, so that the sauce will thicken a bit,  and cook other 30 minutes turning around the pieces of rabbit with a wooden spoon. Just 5 minutes before the rabbit is ready add the olives.

Polenta is a perfect side dish for this rabbit.

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