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Braised Rabbit with Leeks, Rutabagas and Vin Santo

2 whl Rabbits
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Flour for dusting
6 tbl Virgin olive oil
4 med Leeks cut 1/2" rounds, and cleaned
1 lrg Rutabaga peeled, and cut into 1/2" cubes
1 cup Vin santo
1 cup Basic Tomato Sauce
3 cup Chicken stock
1 x recipe Eggplant Partafoglio

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut each rabbit into six pieces. Season liberally with salt and pepper and dredge with flour. In a heavy-bottom casserole (6- to 8-quart), heat virgin oil until smoking. Add 4 pieces of rabbit and cook until golden brown, turning often (about 8 to 10 minutes). Remove pieces and repeat with four more pieces. Repeat again, setting rabbit aside.

When all rabbit is browned, add leeks and rutabaga and, stirring constantly, cook until lightly browned (about 5 to 7 minutes). Add vin santo, Basic Tomato Sauce and chicken stock and bring to boil. Submerge rabbit pieces in vegetables and liquid and cover casserole with tight fitting lid or aluminum foil. Cook in oven for 2 hours, or until meat is falling off the bone.

Remove pan from oven and carefully remove rabbit pieces. Taste sauce and season with salt and pepper. Place rabbit pieces in center of serving dish, pour sauce over and serve accompanied by the Eggplant Partafoglio.

This recipe yields 6 servings as an entree.

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