Roast Lamb, Roman Style / Abbacchio al Forno alla Romana

Roast baby lamb, considered a delicacy, takes the place of honor on the Italian table. The word abbacchio refers specifically to baby lamb weighing between 15 and 25 pounds and milk-fed. Lamb is prepared in many ways; grilled on a spit, braised, stewed, and oven roasted. Romans take particular pride in their method of cooking it. Some serve it flavored with anchovies, vinegar and wine.

Serves 8


  • 4-pound leg of lamb with shank bone attached
  • 3 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine like Pinot Grigio
  • Ingredients


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  4. Place the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan and add the wine to the pan. Roast for 1 to 1 -1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the leg registers an internal temperature of 135-140ºF for medium rare or 160ºF for medium. Baste the meat every 15 minutes with the pan juices. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and let it cool slightly.
  5. Carve into pieces, arrange on a platter, and pour the pan juices over the meat. Serve immediately.
  6. To make a gravy for the roast, skim off the top fat from the pan drippings and place the pan over two stove top burners. Over medium heat stir in 1 tablespoon of flour and 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth and stir to make a smooth sauce. Season with salt and pepper and serve on the side.

This recipe was featured on Season 21 - Episode 2101.

Print This Recipe


p s

Roast lamb, Roman style

Leave a comment

Your comment will be revised by the site if needed.