Rabbit Roulade with Lardo di Colonnata

Per la ricetta in Italiano, clicca qui per il sito e video ricetta del Antica Larderia Malfada.


This month This Tuscan Life featured a story about a special ‘lard’ known as Lardo di Colonnata.  It’s a wonderful and informative article which features a traditional Tuscan recipe.   When my sister asks me to cook a recipe for This Tuscan Life, I’m always happy to do so because it means I can add a new recipe to my blog.   This recipe was taken with permission from the website of the oldest ‘larderia’ in Colonnata, ‘Antica Larderia Malfalda’ .  

Mafalda is the oldest producer of lard in Colonnata, established back in 1930, when lard was just a poor man’s food that the miners (from the marble mines in Carrara) ate with their bread.” 

Rabbit is very commonly found in most (if not all) butchers in Italy.  It features often in the Tuscan kitchen and is strongly recommended for infants by paediatricians throughout Italy.  I’m not brave enough to attempt to debone a rabbit, but luckily the butchers here will do it for you if you give them a day’s notice.   A friend of mine in Australia told me that her butcher laughed when she asked if he could debone a rabbit for her, whereas my butcher here was surprised to hear that a butcher elsewhere would refuse this service.   

If you don’t eat rabbit, or have difficulty obtaining a whole deboned rabbit, you could adapt this recipe and use thinly sliced chicken or turkey breast fillets to make mini roulades or ‘involtini’, incorporating the same ingredients for the filling and seasoning. 


Rabbit Roulade with Lardo di Colonnata

  • 1 whole rabbit – deboned
  • 100g lard ‘Lardo di Colonnata’ thinly sliced
  • 100g Prosciutto Cotto/ Ham – thinly sliced
  • Fresh baby spinach leaves or chard
  • 250ml white wine
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • fresh herbs; rosemary & thyme &/or sage
  • ground cinnamon, star anise &/or cloves
  • salt & pepper
  1. Using a mini food processor, mix together the ground spices, salt and pepper.  Lay the rabbit flat and season with the mixture of ground spices, salt & pepper. (1)
  2. Layer the Lardo di Colonnata on the seasoned rabbit. (2)
  3. Next, layer with the baby spinach, (3) and then the thinly sliced ham. (4)
  4. Roll up the rabbit and tie securely with kitchen string. (5 & 6)
  5. Season with more of the ground spice mix and a bit of Olive Oil.
  6. Add Olive Oil to a large, heavy based frying pan.  Tie the thyme and rosemary into two small bunches or together with sage to form a bouquet garni.  Add to frying pan and then add the whole large garlic clove.
  7. Make sure the pan is good and hot, and then add the rabbit roulade to the frying pan.  Sear on all sides, turning the roulade until you are happy with the sear all over.
  8. Add white wine to pan, and then reduce heat to medium.  Cover pan and leave to cook for 30 – 40 minutes, turning occasionally, and basting with pan juices.
  9. Once cooked, allow to rest for at least 15 minutes, cut and remove kitchen string and then slice.  Serve with pan juices poured over the top.
  10. Accompany with Roast Potatoes or a fresh baby spinach salad.  

NOTE: Pan juices are not to be wasted and are best enjoyed mopped up with rustic Tuscan bread.