Every Tuesday, Italian expat Emiko Davies is taking us on a grand tour of Italy, showing us how to make classic, fiercely regional dishes at home.
Today: Your new Sunday lamb recipe takes inspiration from central Italy.
This is a rich, hearty, and comforting dish that's particularly loved around Easter time -- but one so good, you'll want to eat it all spring long.
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A well-known recipe in Abruzzo and its smaller neighbor, Molise, Agnello Cacio e Uova is a simple stew of lamb cooked until tender in white wine and topped with a mixture of beaten eggs and Pecorino cheese. This seasonal version includes fresh peas for a comforting one-pot meal.
The lamb stew is prepared in so many ways, varying from town to town across the region and even more so when you pass from Molise to Abruzzo. In Abruzzo and Lazio, it's also known as brodettato, where the eggs, mixed with some lemon juice and plenty of cheese, become a delicious, thick, creamy sauce once poured over the slow-cooked stew. Meanwhile, in Molise, the stew is transferred to the oven to bake, where the eggs set, forming an omelette-y golden crust over the top rather than a sauce.
A touch of freshly grated nutmeg goes well with this, and often some chopped prosciutto is added to the onion, too. The lamb can be cooked with stock as well as (or in place of) the wine. For the lamb, shoulder is best, as it melts down into the most tender pieces of meat with the long cooking time.
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, sliced thinly 2 pounds (1 kilogram) lamb, diced 1 cup (250 millilieters) dry white wine 1 pound (450 grams) fresh peas in their shells (about 1 cup or 200 grams of frozen or fresh, podded peas) Salt and pepper 4 eggs, beaten Juice of 1/2 a lemon 2/3 cup grated Pecorino cheese Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
The Australian-Japanese cookbook author has lived in Florence (where a visit to a cheese farm once inspired her to start a food blog) for over 10 years with her Tuscan sommelier husband and two kids. Her third cookbook, Tortellini at Midnight, is out now.