Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. In the kitchen, an “alla cacciatore“ is a meal that is prepared “hunter-style”.
This recipe is from the perspective of a Southern Italian. We all like to use simple ingredients. This recipe requires simple ingredients such as your choice of Meat (either rabbit or chicken), Garlic, Onion, Rosemary, Bay leaves, Tomatoes, Red Pepper, and a good dry Red Wine. In other regions of Italy, they may use white wine, they also may add mushrooms and sometimes other vegetables. The two most popular types of meat done “alla cacciatore” are generally rabbit and chicken. Some Italians also make a “salamino” from pork, which is a small salami that is seasoned simply with just garlic and pepper.
This will feed approximately 6 and take about an hour and a half to prepare. If you can use precooked whole tomatoes and do it in 45 minutes or less.
What you need to make Rabbit (or Chicken) Cacciatore like Nonno does it:
- A large frying pan
- 4 to 5 tablespoons of olive oil
- Large boiling pot
- A colander
- A small rabbit cut into pieces (3 to 5 lbs) or 2 chicken breast, 2 thighs and 2 drumsticks (or you can cut up and use a whole chicken,
- 2 to 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- ¼ cooking onion finely chopped
- 2 to 3 Rosemary stems,
- 2 Bay leaves
- 26 oz. whole tomatoes, drained and chopped coarsely
- 1 red pepper (Sheppard or Bell are a good choice)
- At least ½ cup of good red wine, keep the balance of it to drink with the meal
- A few pinches of salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes
- 1 lb. of pasta
- Parmesan cheese
How to make Rabbit (or Chicken) Cacciatore like Nonno does it:
Nonno loves it simple and very basic with rustic bread, pasta, and a tossed salad.
1. Two tablespoons of olive oil, heated in a large frying pan.
2. Add onions, garlic, peppers and the Rabbit (or Chicken) pieces, lightly sprinkled with salt and the pepper.
3. Lightly fry in the oil, turning to ensure both sides are cooked, for a few minutes (three to four) on each side until the meat is lightly browned.
4. Drain and chop coarsely the whole tomatoes and add to the frying pan.
5. Add the Rosemary, two Bay leaves and slowly pour in the half cup of dry red wine.
- Optional – You can add chopped carrot to sweeten, Nonno doesn`t.
- Toss the drained pasta into the large frying pan, with tongs or large fork mix in
(If you prefer, you can also put the drained pasta in a large bowl and pour the sauce from the frying pan over the pasta and mix it up).
7. Keep on the stove at a very low simmer for about an hour – you can remove and discard the fat that comes to the top as it is cooking.
8. In a large pot of boiling water, add your chosen pasta, a pinch of salt and add a teaspoon of virgin olive oil and cook the pasta per package instructions.
9. Check and remove from the stove to drain when it is al dente.
10. Remove the rabbit or chicken from the frying pan and place on a serving dish
11. Drain the pasta completely.
12. Add the pasta to the cooked tomato mixture, toss and mix using large spoon or tongs. place on a serving dish, top with some Parmesan cheese.
Serve and Enjoy with the rustic bread and the rest of the good dry red wine and tossed salad.
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