I try to eat seasonal and local as much as possible so when I am on a small island off the coast of Italy, I never eat meat, unless I am on Procida or Ischia. On these two volcanic islands off the coast of Naples, rabbit is as typical as squid or mussels. I headed to Procida for a few days with my college roommate Jack. On our first night in town, we went to Fammivento at the port (which was much better on a previous trip), and Jack ordered the fusilli con coniglio. A sauce of shredded rabbit, cherry tomatoes, onions and parsley were tossed with the twisty pasta. Even better were the ravioli di coniglio at Girone in Chiaiolella on the other side of the island. Tender shredded rabbit filled the crescent shaped pockets of homemade pasta. All was gently tossed with a rustic rabbit ragu’.
Across the bay in Ischia, coniglio all’ischitana is the island’s signature dish. Pieces of rabbit are cooked in a terracotta dish (u tiano) with tomatoes, parsley, rosemary, garlic, olive oil, and white wine. The resulting sauce can be used as a pasta condiment (as it was in the fusili Jack ate in Procida). Some recipes call for olives to be thrown in with the rabbit. So the next time you find yourself on either of these islands, take a break from your fish binge and try the rabbit.