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Coniglio alla Stimpirata

Coniglio Alla Stimpirata

A classic Sicilian sweet and sour dish made with rabbit, adapted from

Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Rabbit, Sicilian, Sweet-Sour
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting time 6 hours
Author Fiona Maclean Adapted from Valeria Necchio


  • 750 g rabbit jointed into 6 pieces
  • 500 ml white wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and diced into 1cm chunks
  • 2 sticks celery trimmed and sliced to around 1cm
  • 1 medium onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and diced into 1cm chunks
  • 8 shallots or small onions peeled and halved if necessary
  • 100 g pitted green olives
  • 2 peppers red, yellow or green
  • 1 tbsp capers rinsed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 red chilli or a scant teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • freshly ground salt and pepper


  1. Put the rabbit joints in a bowl and cover with 450ml vinegar topped up with a little water. Cover the dish and leave for up to half an hour. If necessary, turn the joints to keep them covered in liquid.

  2. Rinse the rabbit joints under running water, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper or a clean teatowel

  3. Heat half the oil in your skillet or pan until it is nearly smoking. Add the rabbit and brown quickly over a medium to high heat, turning a couple of times.

  4. Put the rabbit to one side and turn the temperature down. Add the rest of the oil along with the garlic, chilli, bay leaves and all the vegetables except the peppers. Cook over a medium heat for around 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

  5. Once the potatoes and carrots start to soften add the peppers along with a little water, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

  6. Add the rabbit back to the pan along with the olives and capers. If necessary add a little more water. Cover and cook for 15 more minutes until the rabbit is tender and the liquid has reduced down

  7. Mix the remaining 50ml of vinegar with the sugar and stir well. Turn the heat up and pour over the sugar and vinegar mixture. Cook for 5 minutes or so until the vinegar has evaporated.

  8. Turn off the heat and add the mint leaves, tearing any larger ones into small pieces. Stir through.

  9. Allow the dish to rest at room temperature for around 6 hours. If you are planning to leave it for longer, put it in the fridge where it can safely stay for a few days.

  10. Bring back to room temperature or reheat before serving.