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The Game Chef

Ligurian Rabbit with Black Olives

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Ligurian Rabbit with Black Olives

About nine years ago I spent a full week eating my way through the entire menu of a beautifully frescoed restaurant in Levanto, Liguria. I was a week into my three month Italian food Odyssey, and it was the first place I had found that satisfied the authenticity I had been looking for, so I stayed put…and ate…and ate…and ate. Apart from a spaghetti dish with more sea urchins than I care to remember, this is the dish that has really stuck in my mind. There is something about the way the olives and rabbit melt down together in the olive oil, giving an unbelievably sweet and long lasting flavour; the sort that leaves you sucking your teeth pensively for a while after each mouthful…

N.B. Yes, there is an absurd amount of olive oil in this dish, (you can always spoon a bit off after cooking) but intersperse your teeth sucking wonderment with mouthfuls of crusty bread dipped in the oily sauce or you’ll be missing out. Oh, and the name of the restaurant is Moresco. (Via Jacopo da Levanto 24)

1. Preheat the oven to 160c

2. In a heavy iron/terracotta pot with a closefitting lid place your potatoes, garlic, lemon, bay leaves and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Place the (seasoned) rabbit on top, scatter over the black olives, and pour over the olive oil and water.

4. Place in oven for 2 – 3 hours, depending on the age/size of your rabbit. The sauce should be a dark brown oily salty sweet delicious sludge.