Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Coniglio all'Ischitana (Rabbit Stew) and a Book Review

I just finished listening to the second in the Whimbrel House series by Charlie Holmberg.  It is the newest release in the series that started with Keeper of Enchanted Rooms that I read for our Lit Happens Book Club last November.

Heir of Uncertain Magic

This second novel was just as fun and silly as the first.......

The Whimbrel House series is whimsical and fantastical.  The main character finds out late in life that he has magical powers after inheriting Whimbrel House from a distant relative.  When he, Merritt, discovers the house is possessed by his many times over great uncle he seeks the help of BIKER....Boston Institute for the Keeper of Enchanted Rooms.  

He is sent a "housekeeper" and a "maid" from the institute both of whom are magical.  He also hires a French chef who has no magic except for in the kitchen 

In this second novel, Merritt and Hulda, the housekeeper turned love interest in the first novel, square off with some bad guys from LIKER (London Institute for the Keeper of Enchanted Rooms) who want to take over BIKER.

Coniglio all'ischitana

My recipe comes from a passage where, after learning he has the gift of chaocracy, Merritt, uninitentionally, creates a catastrophe on his little island.  Many of the trees and animals are displaced and lost.  Hulda who is nursing Merritt through the after affects of his magic, consoles herself thinking that at least they will have enough rabbit to tide them over the winter months.

Rabbit Stewing

Frank and I both enjoy rabbit and this recipe was so rich and delicious that I can't think of anyone that wouldn't love it. Unless, of course, you have family members who won't try it because it is rabbit.  

Rabbit Stew

In that case, do as I, and after the rabbit is done braising in the tomato sauce, remove the meat from the bones.  Return the meat to the sauce and let it simmer uncovered until it thickens up.  I served it over egg noodles and told the family we were having pasta for dinner.  They all loved it and never batted an eye.  It was "magical".

I found this recipe over at Pasta.com.  It is titled as a Searching for Italy recipe as provided in the show by Stanley Tucci.  I love that show.  There were a couple of either typos or misprints in the recipe.  The ingredient list asked for 1 clove of garlic rather than 1 head.  I ended up using all minced garlic that I keep in a jar in my refrigerator.  I also substituted diced tomatoes and tomato sauce for the crushed tomatoes.

I will be sharing this post over at FoodiesRead.  Stop by and see what the other Foodies are reading this month.  

Pasta, Rabbit, Stew, Game meat,
Entrees, Pasta
Yield: 4 large servings
Author: Wendy Klik
Coniglio All'Ischitana (Rabbit Stew)

Coniglio All'Ischitana (Rabbit Stew)

This recipe is inspired by one served at Il Focolore in Ishchia, Campania that was featured on Searching for Italy starring Stanly Tucci. It is rich and delicious. Well worth the time it takes to braise the rabbit and make the "gravy".
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 1 H & 45 MTotal time: 2 Hour


  • 1 rabbit
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 c. red wine
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 3 T. garlic
  • 1/4 t. crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 T. Italian Herb Blend
  • 1 t. sugar, if desired
  • 8 oz. dried pasta, cooked per package directions


  1. Cut the rabbit into 6 portions, season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat some olive oil in the bottom of a dutch oven. Add the chicken and sear on both sides. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook until fragrant and garlic begins to turn golden, about 30 seconds
  3. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottl of the pan, until wine is reduced by half.
  4. Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir in the herbs, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour, until the rabbit is very tender.
  5. Remove the rabbit from the stew, if desired, and remove the meat from the bones. Return the meat to the sauce, taste and add a bit of sugar if the sauce is too acidic.
  6. Cook uncovered for about 45 minutes until sauce is thickened to desired consistency.
  7. Serve over cooked pasta. I like egg noodles as they hold up well to the sauce.


Adapted from a recipe found at Pasta.com

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

10.84 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

2.48 g

Carbs (grams)

40.45 g

Fiber (grams)

7.26 g

Net carbs

33.18 g

Sugar (grams)

12.34 g

Protein (grams)

62.25 g

Sodium (milligrams)

1120.72 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

202.5 mg

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  1. I love rabbit, and your little trick was a good one! We don't get much opportunity to have it here, but when the opportunity comes I take it.


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