Roast Lamb

Abbacchio al Forno

Mary Ann Esposito

SERVES 8

Roast baby lamb, considered a delicacy, takes the place of honor on the Italian Easter table. The word abbacchio refers specifically to baby lamb weighing between 15 and 25 pounds and milk-fed. Lamb is prepared in many ways in Italy: Grilled on a spit, braised, stewed, and roasted in the oven. The Romans take particular pride in their method of cooking lamb.

INGREDIENTS

1 4-pound leg of lamb
3 cloves garlic, slivered
3 springs fresh rosemary, leaves only, or 2 tablespoons dried
1/2 cup Filippo Berio olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine

DIRECTIONS

Wipe the meat dry with paper towels. With a small knife make slits about 1-inch deep all over the meat and insert the slivers of garlic and rosemary.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, and pepper and mix well with a fork. Rub the mixture all over the lamb, coating it well. Place the meat in a deep dish, cover it, and let it marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Place the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan and add the wine to the pan. Roast for 1 to 1½ hours or until the internal temperature reaches 170ºF., basting the meat every 15 minutes with the pan juices. Remove the roast to a cutting board and let cool slightly.

Carve into pieces, arrange on a platter, and pour the pan juices over the meat. Serve immediately.

This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company Inc., in 1991.

item recipe is featured in Episode 0 of Season 0.

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