A number of years ago, I had the pleasure of writing a short story and recipe for the magazine "Italian Cooking & Living." It was published under the section "Heirloom" meaning that along with the recipe, a short story of where and how the recipe came about would be added. I have so many recipes that could fall under "Heirloom" from both sides of my family but for a number of reasons, I submitted my nonna's recipe for rabbit. She was a sickly woman, and unlike many nonnas that spend hours upon hours at the stove, her time cooking was actually limited, which to me, made her recipes and cooking that much more special. I admit, it's not something I make all too often. For one reason, fresh rabbit can be hard to find, secondly, it is a bit more expensive and not as meaty as the cheaper counterpart, chicken. You can use the same exact method for chicken thighs and they come out divine. We made it recently and added a few strips of sweet red bell pepper, it was delicious! I'm looking forward to having it again at Easter time. Of course, it's not like nonna made, nothing will ever come out the way our nonnas made them. However the fact that these recipes remind us of them is really all that matters. Getting a recipe published in a national magazine (now no longer in print) was extremely exciting, though I admit, the best part by far was picking up this magazine at the bookstore and opening it up to see a picture of my grandparents right in front of me!! They would have gotten such a kick out of it!!
1 young rabbit
2 cups light white wine
4 to 5 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
2 to 3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1 sprig of rosemary, stem removed
½ tablespoon oregano
10-12 olives of your choice, pitted
2-3 bay leaves
salt to taste
In a large mixing bowl submerge the rabbit in cold water. Cover the bowl with tin foil or a lid and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Rinse the rabbit in cold water. In a large skillet over medium heat, place the rabbit and bring to a light boil with the wine. Simmer these two ingredients for about 20 minutes, or until about ½ of the wine has evaporated, turning the rabbit once or twice. At this point, the rabbit will start to take a lighter color in appearance. Gently add in the rest of the ingredients and let simmer on low to medium heat for an additional 25 minutes. Remove from heat. Gently arrange the rabbit on a warmed platter and enjoy. Serves 4.
"You're so good" - or so all my co-workers say when they see me prep my lunch at work. Generally it's 'just a salad' - albeit a good looking salad with ingredients that would make a head of iceberg cringe. I don't think much of it though, and this makes me realize that perhaps I have taken this food thing for granted. I add mozzarella balls and roasted red peppers to my bowl already containing a can of tuna packed in oil and a few other ingredients and I see now what they see - a really good looking lunch that perhaps they wouldn't have thought to make!
In a way, I've avoided food most of my entire life. Not eating it or cooking it of course, but have tried to avoid having any professional involvement with food. The last thing I'd want is to be associated with the food business. An Italian in the culinary field. How unoriginal!! And then, it happens. You realize that perhaps you take more joy than most just by having a delicious cappuccino or making a tray of lasagna. Or you take some biscotti to your co-workers and all are in agreement, "these are better than the bakery ones, you should sell these!" - and you think, oh no, it's happening. You're affectionately known at your workplace as "the Italian that cooks." And that's a label that will never rub off.
Ironically, as I've gotten older, I've started to wear it pretty proudly! I'm proud of my heritage and my upbringing. I'm an eager learner when it comes to cooking and always eager to try new things. Though I admit, most are Italian dishes! People always ask me if I cook every day. To an Italian, it's like brushing your teeth! I'm just wondering, how could you not cook every day? You eat everyday, right, so how can you not cook everyday? And I get it, I do. We all work, have lives outside the kitchen, have other things that take priority, but how can feeding yourself and your soul not be a priority? And it doesn't have to be fancy, or three courses, or take hours to make. It just as to satisfy you. A grilled chicken salad on a warm day can do that. My goal with the Lazy Italian is to provide you with some recipes that you can make in a timely fashion that do not pull you away from your other responsibilities. You should look forward to cooking, not dread it. It's a right, not a chore.
My other goal of course is to someday take you to Italy! Everyone should experience Italy at least once in their lives! The beauty, history, scenery, and yes, the gelato too!! The picture below is from "Soverato Dolci" - an unbelievable gelateria in a small city called Soverato, in Calabria, Italy. Such a selection of flavors! Definitely worth the calories! It's a good thing the beach is right behind it, you can swim or walk it off!
Hi there, thanks for visiting my blog! Here you will find recipes, short stories, tales, rants and whatever else is on my mind with regards to food, Italy, travel and along those lines. Drop me a line, I'd love to hear from you!