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Coniglio Alla Romagnola (Rabbit in Pickled Onion Sauce)

2 1/2 lb Frying rabbit (to 3 lb.) - cut in pieces
Salt, pepper and nutmeg
1/4 c Butter or margarine
1 md Onion; finely chopped
1 Garlic clove - minced or pressed
8 oz Can tomato sauce
1/3 c Sweet vermouth
1 Bay leaf
1/4 ts Whole allspice
1/4 ts Black peppercorns
1/4 c Small white pickled onions - drained
1/2 c Whipping cream


Sprinkle rabbit pieces with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Melt butter over medium heat in a wide, deep frying pan or 4 to 5 qt. Dutch oven. Add rabbit, about half at a time, and brown well; remove when browned.


To same pan, add chopped onion and cook, stirring, until soft. Mix in garlic, tomato sauce, vermouth, bay leaf, all spice and peppercorns; then add rabbit pieces and pickled onions. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until rabbit is very tender (50 to 60 minutes). Remove to warm serving dish; keep warm.


Skim fat from cooking liquid, if necessary. Add cream and bring to a boil over high heat; continue to cook, stirring, until sauce is slightly reduced and thickened. Taste and add salt, if needed. Pour sauce over rabbit.


Yield: 4 to 6 servings.


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