This is Marcella Hazan’s recipe. She prepared it for lunch on the terrace outside the lovely, antique-filled top-floor apartment she and her husband, Victor, share in the Cannaregio district of Venice. The Hazan’s served the quail with polenta.
Sauteed rabbit with herbs
- 2 rabbits, cut in serving pieces
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 sprigs fresh sage
- 6 cloves garlic crushed
- 4 tbsp (60 ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 30 gr carrot finely chopped
- 1 cup (40 gr) celery finely chopped
- 30 gr onion finely chopped
- 250 gr crushed, well-drained fresh or canned plum (egg) tomatoes
- 375 ml dry white wine
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup (125 ml) of water (approximately)
- 2 cups (250 g) small white mushrooms
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 1 tbsp flat-leaf Italian parsley finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme finely chopped
- Place the rabbit pieces in a large bowl and toss with the sprigs of rosemary, thyme, and sage, 2 cloves of the garlic, and 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of the oil. Set aside to marinate for 4 hours.
- In a large sauté pan, heat ½ tablespoon of the remaining oil, add the rabbit pieces and sauté over high heat until they are lightly browned. Remove them from the pan.
- Add the carrot, celery, onion, and remaining garlic to the pan, sauté until the vegetables are tender. Add the tomatoes to the pan, then stir in the wine.
- Bring to a simmer, return the rabbit pieces to the pan, and season with salt and pepper.
- Add a little water if necessary, so that the rabbit is barely covered with the sauce. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Place a piece of foil directly on the surface of the ingredients, place the pan in the oven, and bake for 2 hours.
- Add a little more water if necessary. While the rabbit is baking sauté the mushrooms over high heat in the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil.
- After the rabbit has baked for 1 ½ hours, add the sauté mushrooms to the pan.
- When the rabbit is done, check the seasonings. Add the chopped herbs and serve.