More >

Lina's Leg of Lamb

SERVES 10 TO 12 Lina makes this whole roasted leg of lamb often because her family loves the flavor of the tender meat as it virtually falls off the bone when being carved.


One whole leg of lamb, 7 to 8 pounds


4 to 5 cloves garlic, peeled

3 sprigs rosemary

1/2 cup flat leaf Italian parsley

3 ounces butter, divided (3/4 stick)

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil for rubbing


Preheat the oven to 325F.

Make a number of deep slits into the thickest part of the meat. Spread the edges of the cut meat and sprinkle salt into each slit. This will add flavor as well as draw some of the fat out of the meat.

Put the garlic, rosemary needles, and parsley leaves into a mini-chopper and whirl to produce a minced paste. Or chop by hand on a cutting board. Insert a spoonful of the paste into the slits that have already been salted. Cut 2 tablespoons of the butter into pats and insert into the slits. Pinch the slits closed. Rub any remaining paste over the top of the roast.

Cut 2 tablespoons of the butter into pats and arrange in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Set the roast on top of the butter pats. Use the remaining butter to dot the top of the roast. Pour the olive oil over the roast. Cover with foil. Remove foil during final 30-45 minutes of cooking time.

Bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature of the meat is at least 175F. Allow the roast to rest for a few minutes before carving. Skim the fat off of the pan juices, reheat the juices and serve with the meat.

Recipe featured on Program 2522


  1. Francine Ragonese Paston's avatar

    Francine Ragonese Paston

    This is exactly the way my Nona and mom and I make it. My family is from Southern Italy. I enjoy your books and programs very much...I miss my family I'm the only one left at 70 yrs. old and miss the old days.
  2. Claudia Valimont's avatar

    Claudia Valimont

    I make Leg-o-Lamb every Easter. I make slits all over it about 5 or 6 and place cut up pieces of garlic, romano cheese and parsley in each slit. My family loves it this way. I also make Easter bread and wedding soup.
    Happy Easter
  3. Catherine Dilworth's avatar

    Catherine Dilworth

    This looks absolutely delicious. Printing the recipe right now and will try it for Easter. Thank you!

Leave a Comment

Looking for even more photos and recipes?
Order my latest book.

Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy

Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.

Order using this link and receive a signed book plate.

Available now!