Tuna Rabbit Recipe: Tonno di coniglio

If you have ever been in Piemonte you probably remind the gorgeous “Tonno di coniglio”. If you haven’t ever been yet you probably would love to try this easy and healthy rabbit recipe at your home. A peasant recipe modern, delicious and versatile.

Tuna rabbit - Tonno di coniglio

Tuna rabbit was the canned tuna of Piedmontese peasants

After cooking in water and spices rabbit meat is kept and made tender through soaking in oil, which makes it soft as that of the tuna. It is one of those dishes that must be cooked at least a day in advance, and can be stored for 5-7 days. It was perfectly suited to the needs of farmers returning from fields could find food ready to be eaten. Its origins make tuna rabbit a very modern dish, perfectly suitable for our busy hectic lifestyle. Tuna rabbit - Tonno di coniglio

Tuna rabbit it’s a typical dish of Monferrato UNESCO heritage site

Probably this recipe was born among the gardeners of the Tanaro valley that used to also raise rabbits, fed with vegetable scraps. The rabbit tuna is a typical recipe of Monferrato, a UNESCO heritage site in 2014. It is called this way because the meat is treated as that of the tuna. It was a way to cook the rabbit practiced in rural households at the peak of the agricultural work, when the need to prepare foods in advance clashed with the difficulty to retain them and with poverty.

Tuna rabbit it’s a versatile food

In the past we were used to eat it like a main dish, sided by vegetables. Now you can taste Tuna rabbit in a variety of way: to enrich salads, as a starter, to prepare sandwiches or as appetizer on canapés or snacks. It is perfect for picnic and outdoor lunch.

Tuna Rabbit Recipe – Tonno di coniglio

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 6


  • 1 rabbit ca. 3 lb
  • For the broth
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 leek
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 onion "studded" with 2 cloves
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 6 grains of black pepper
  • For soaking
  • 6-10 cloves of garlic
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 1-2 cup of extra virgin olive oil


    For boiling
  1. Wash the herbs and aromas
  2. Insert the 2 cloves into the onion
  3. Place all the herbs and ingredients for the broth in a large pot, cut into pieces the carrot, leek, and the stalks of celery, and the onion "studded" with the 2 cloves, and then add the water
  4. Wash the rabbit
  5. Add water and, put the rabbit in the pot, then put on the heat and bring to a boil. The rabbit should boil for at least 45 minutes, any extra time will make it more tender.
  6. Preparing the soaking
  7. While the rabbit is boiling cut the garlic cloves and clean the sage leaves
  8. Preparing the rabbit
  9. As soon as the rabbit is cooked, remove it from the broth (do not throw the broth away!) and take off the meat from the bones
  10. Cut the meat it to pieces of equal size
  11. Arrange the pieces of meat layered with garlic and sage leaves, finished arranging the sage start over with a new layer of rabbit-garlic-sage till the rabbit is finished. At the end of each layer drizzle with a drizzle of olive oil.
  12. Finished arranging the meat, cover all with oil so that all the meat rabbit is covered by oil and can absorb everything you need to make the meat tender and not dry.
  13. Serving
  14. Remove the excess of oil and eat as you prefer, as a main dish, a starter, in sandwiches or as an unconventional healthy appetizer on canapés or snacks.
Tuna rabbit - Tonno di coniglio

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