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Ligurian style rabbit

The typical second course of the Riviera di Ponente. Try it with baked potatoes!
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Coniglio alla ligure ricetta modo21 pinit

The basis of Ligurian dishes are simple but full of flavour ingredients, and ligurian style rabbit is no exception.
From necessity to virtue, the tradition of rabbit farming spread in Liguria because it required little expense and little space, in an area with little soil and resources to exploit.

Rabbit meat is appreciated and consumed in many parts of the region, but it is in the Ponente – in the Finalese, Albenganese and Imperiese areas – that the most authentic recipes can be found. From Savona onwards towards France, each town has its own recipe with their own secrets, handed down between the families who have dedicated themselves, from generation to generation, to this dish.

In western Liguria, the preparation of rabbit largely follows a common pattern: the rabbit is cut into pieces and then cooked in a casserole with a sauté (onion and/or garlic) enriched with pine nuts. Wine is used to flavour everything, while the olives are only added at the end, creating a unique contrast between the bitterness of the taggiasca olives and the sweetness of the meat.

Coniglio alla ligure ricetta modo21 pinit
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Ligurian style rabbit

Difficulty: Beginner Preparation time 15 min Cooking time 50 min Total time 1 hr 5 mins
Portions: 4
Best season: Suitable throughout the year



  1. Preparing rabbit meat

    You can decide to have the rabbit already cut at the butcher's or buy it whole and clean it yourself. If you buy it whole, keep the head to flavour the stock while the liver and kidneys can be added during cooking, when you add the other ingredients to the rabbit.

  2. The rabbit does not need marinating, but it is recommended to brown it on its own for a few minutes over a gentle heat, just to let it release the little wild flavour that this meat has. After this step drain the meat and remove the liquid from the pan.

  3. Cooking Ligurian style rabbit

    Meanwhile chop together the garlic, marjoram and sage. Fry the chopped mixture in the oil in a saucepan and then put in the rabbit pieces and brown them well. Deglaze with the Rossese di Dolceacqua DOC wine and let it evaporate.

  4. Add all the pine nuts, the mushrooms (previously soaked), the bay leaf and just a few Taggiasca olives (keep the rest for the end). Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook over a gentle heat for at least 45 minutes, occasionally basting the rabbit with hot stock. When you see that the meat starts to pull away easily from the bone, add the remaining taggiasca olives and finish cooking for a few minutes. The rabbit Ligurian style is finally ready and is served hot.
Parole chiave: ligurian style rabbit, ligurian rabbit recipe, typical ligurian dishes, recipes with taggiasca olives, ligurian recipes

FAQs - Questions from our Community

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Which side dish for rabbit alla ligure?

As a side dish for rabbit Ligurian style, you can bring baked potatoes, mashed potatoes or slices of homemade bread toasted in a non-stick frying pan (or on a griddle) with a little oil, garlic, rosemary and salt.

What ingredients and flavourings are used to give flavour to Ligurian style rabbit?

The great thing about rabbit alla ligure is that you can experiment with the flavourings each time and always discover a new note of flavour. In addition to the ingredients already listed in our recipe, there are many local variations of rabbit alla ligure: if you are in Murialdo, for example, you could add a pinch of cinnamon to the broth; in Dolceacqua they prefer to use Rossese wine for cooking; while in Pietra Ligure they use thyme and bay leaves. You just have to try it!

Which wine can I use for rabbit alla ligure?

Certainly a local wine, to characterise the dish territorially with a typical ingredient. Ligurian white wine is used in most versions of this recipe (e.g. Pigato) while as red wine Rossese di Dolceacqua DOC is used, the favourite in its area of origin, in the area between Ventimiglia and Bordighera.

Which wine to pair with rabbit alla ligure?

Our advice is to drink the same wine you used in the recipe as a matter of correct pairing. So in our case it is the white wine Pigato but next time you could try another Ligurian white wine or the red wine Rossese, which is used in cooking rabbit Ligurian style in the area around the village of Dolceacqua.

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