Rabbit Ali Baba
- SERVINGS: 4
Ali Baba is a cat who likes to watch while his owner, Ron Cook, makes this dish (with either rabbit or chicken). Ron was a student of Lydie Marshall's years ago. He now lives in Florence with his family and pets and has become a superb Italian cook.
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- One 3-pound rabbit, cut into 4 leg and 2 loin pieces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 6 sage leaves
- 3 rosemary sprigs
- 1 1/2 cups Chardonnay
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, pour the olive oil over the rabbit and turn to coat. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Add the onion, garlic, sage and rosemary to the casserole.
- In a glass measuring cup, use a fork to blend the wine with the tomato paste; pour over the rabbit. Cover and bring to a simmer, then cook over low heat, turning the rabbit pieces a few times, until the loin is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Transfer the loin pieces to a plate and cover with foil. Continue cooking the rabbit until the legs are tender, about 35 minutes longer. Add the legs to the loin pieces.
- Boil the pan juices until thickened and flavorful, about 8 minutes. Return the rabbit to the casserole and reheat in the sauce. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne and serve.
This dish calls for a rich, ripely fruity and earthy Rhône white that can stand up to the strong rabbit flavor and the aromatic sage and rosemary.