THE first winning recipe in our new series on Italian cooking in the British kitchen comes from Bryan Hodgson of Kendal, Cumbria. He writes: 'There is always a surplus of wild rabbit here, so we enjoy eating it regularly.' This is his adaptation of the rabbit stew in the 'Game' volume of Richard Olney's Good Cook series.

Mr Hodgson will receive a bottle of gutsy Tuscan Sangiovese, 1990 Cepparello from Isole e Olena, which we purchase from the Italian specialists Winecellars of south London.

Rabbit stew with olives

Serves 2-4

Ingredients: 1 rabbit, jointed

3tbs olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1tbs fresh rosemary, finely chopped

4fl oz (115ml) red wine

1tbs tomato puree

8fl oz (230ml) chicken or rabbit stock

1tbs chopped parsley leaves

2oz-4oz (55g-110g) black olives, stoned and split or pricked with a fork

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation: Season rabbit pieces (but note the olives will add their own saltiness). Heat olive oil in a large oven-proof casserole with a lid. Add garlic and rosemary, cook briefly, taking care not to burn garlic. Add rabbit pieces, browning them evenly. Add wine gradually, followed by the tomato puree, stock, parsley and olives.

Cover pan and cook over a low heat or in a slow oven until the rabbit is tender - about

45-60 minutes. If the sauce is too thin, remove meat with a slotted spoon to a warm plate and increase heat to reduce liquor.

Next week: more Italian recipes from the British kitchen. Send to Emily Green, Weekend, the Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. Please name sources. Those whose recipes we print will receive a bottle of 1990 Cepparello.