I met the lovely Cristiana and her charming husband, Gianni, a few years back while doing some work in Swellendam, when the hotel I was staying at recommended La Sosta as the place to eat in town!  The last thing I expected in that little town was an Italian meal that blew me away!  It was one of my most memorable dining experiences, and is right up there in the top 10 of all time.  EatOut also recognised the immense talent that is Cristiana, and awarded La Sosta with the Mercedes Benz EatOut Award for Best Italian Restaurant of 2014, and rightly so!  Here Cristiana shares one of her rabbit recipes, which looks mouthwatering!





Lombo di coniglio ripieno alla ligure (Stuffed Rabbit Loin with black olives)

4 rabbit loins or 1 rabbit deboned

Stuffing for rolls:

  • 1 bread slice, crusts removed
    200 gr italian sausages, skinned and crumbled 1 rabbit liver
    100gr mordatella, chopped
    10 black olives pitted and finely chopped
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    50 gr butter
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 fresh parsley sprig, chopped
    1 fresh thyme sprig, chopped
    1 egg, beaten
    white wine
    salt & pepper

For marinate:

  • 4 fresh rosemary sprigs 4 bay leaves
    1 tablespoon of olive oil 1 garlic clove
  • salt & pepper

Rabbit Broth :

  • some rabbit bones or 2 back legs 1 litre of water
    1 onion
    1 carrot
  • 1 celery stick salt & pepper

Rabbit Sauce :

  • rabbit broth
    1or 2 fresh porcini mushroom 10 black olives pitted
    1 tablespoon mustard
    salt & pepper

Tear the bread into pieces, place in a bowl add white wine to cover and leave to soak, then drain and squeeze out.

Mix together the mortadella with the sausages in a bowl.

Chop the liver, heat half butter and the olive oil in a pan, add the onion and the liver and cook low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until any liquid is completely evaporated.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the soaked bread, then add the mixture to the bowl of mortadella and sausages, stir the parsley, thyme and the egg and season with salt & pepper.

The mixture must be firm enough to be scoop and spread on the loins or on the whole deboned rabbit.

Roll up tight the loins or the whole rabbit and put in a tray with bay leaves, rosemary and olive oil covered in the fridge for one night.

The next day put the loins or the rabbit rolled up inside a vacuum pouches with 3 tablespoon butter, salt, pepper and 10 pitted black olives.

Cook Sous-vide in a warm bath at 72 ° for 12 hours.

With the bones do a broth, with 1 liter of water, carrots, celery and onion and reduce by half.
Prepare the sauce using some of the rabbit’s broth, porcini mushroom cut in pieces ,olives, mustard, salt and pepper pouring into a pan and simmer uncovered for a further 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened .

Serve cut in slices with green and red salad leaves, mushrooms and mashed potatoes.

La Sosta Restaurant, Swellendam