1 large rabbit, jointed
½ bottle of red wine
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
a handful of springs of fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon of salt
a handful of dried porcini mushrooms
1 kg of fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
100g whole black olives
Put the rabbit pieces in a large bowl with the wine, garlic, rosemary and salt. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours (and overnight if you have time). Put the dried porcini in a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for half an hour, then remove the mushrooms, keeping the liquid for later. Remove the rabbit pieces from the marinade, keeping the marinade liquid for later, and setting aside the rabbit’s liver. In a large pot, heat plenty of olive oil, fry the rabbit pieces quickly to brown them, then add the marinade liquid, the tomatoes, the tomato puree and the porcini. If necessary, add enough of the mushroom liquid so that the rabbit pieces are just covered. Bring to the boil then simmer very gently for two hours until the rabbit is completely tender. Quickly pan-fry the liver and put on a separate plate. Serve with plenty of crusty bread.
The taxi driver who brought us from Pisa to Bagni di Lucca was a keen mushroom collector and told me that you should always disturb any piles of leaves with a long stick before putting your hand into them to pick mushrooms, just in case there are any adders lurking in them.