How to cook Ischia rabbit: the original recipe

An ancient recipe, with slow cooking, aimed at maximizing the consistency and flavor of the meat: we are talking about rabbit all’Ischitana!

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

The addition of the pomodoro, 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. It was originally prepared with rabbits raised in pits only with grass, today instead on the island the inhabitants raise their own animals. 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 of crock and the size is measured by the number of rabbits it can hold. Being then a recipe with long cooking timesis reserved for holidays or special occasions so that you can devote all the time you need to it.

Ischia rabbit
Ischia rabbit

How to cook Ischia rabbit

  1. First you need to cut the rabbit into piecesfirst in half, following the spine and removing the innards, then in batches dividing the head, neck, forelegs, hind legs and torso in half. 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.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat abundantly seed oil with garlic, taking care that it does not burn. Then add the rabbit in pieces and brown it well, turning it only once.
  3. Then blend with the vino and when you no longer feel the smell of alcohol, add the tomatoes washed and cut into rather small pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cover and simmer on low heat for at least an hour. 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 gravyalso perfect for seasoning pasta.

I recommend Always 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 maximum 2 days in a container with a special lid. We do not recommend freezing in the freezer.

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