The time will come when you must try the Roman Roast Lamb, also known as Abbacchio Alla Romana in Italian, and it is a step that every cooking enthusiast must take.
The lamb recipe itself is not complicated. After all, it is just baked lamb flavored with chopped anchovies and rosemary. But having said that, between an acceptable dish and a perfect lamb, a lot of water passes under the bridge.
The raw material, suckling lamb, must be of excellent quality; the flavor must not be overpowering, and the meat must be tender; these are two requirements.
One final cooking tip: many prepare this dish in a pan, but the second part of cooking must be done in the oven to make it crunchy. That’s all—garlic, rosemary, and 2 anchovies—and you will make the perfect Roman-style lamb!
Ingredients for making the Roman Roast Lamb (Abbacchio Alla Romana)
- 1.5 kg of lamb
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 3-4 sprigs of rosemary
- 4 salted anchovies
- 20 ml of white vinegar
- 12 grams of salt
- 10 grams of pepper
- 40 grams of extra olive oil
- 100 grams of white wine
- 400 grams of potatoes
How to make the original Roman Roast Lamb (Abbacchio Alla Romana)
The marinade is not necessary, but if you want to degrease and blend the meat with a gentle touch, uncork a bottle of Cesanese del Piglio, pour it into a large baking dish, and dip the lamb with 2 cloves of garlic. Let it rest in the refrigerator all night.
If you don’t want to marinate the meat, start cooking immediately. Cut the lamb into medium-sized pieces.
In a large pan, put 8 tablespoons of oil, heat it, and add the crushed, but not chopped, garlic cloves. Sauté gently for 15 minutes, then remove the garlic.
Place the lamb in a pan, season with a generous pinch of pepper and salt, and then brown it on all sides.
Deglaze with a drop of white wine and cook for 1 hour, stirring often. Low heat with a lid.
Now let’s move on to the rosemary, garlic, and anchovy pesto.
Desalt the anchovies.
If you want to do things right, you will need the mortar; if you are in a hurry, the blender is fine too.
Put the anchovies, 2 garlic cloves, and 3 tablespoons of vinegar in the mortar. Use the pestle to work the ingredients together carefully until you have a smooth pesto.
Sauté the lamb in the oven until it is crunchy and golden to the right point, then sprinkle the rosemary pesto on top and serve.
During the last half hour of cooking, you can add 5-6 potatoes cut into medium pieces for a side dish.
If you want to overdo it, accompany the lamb with a couple of Jewish artichokes.
Which wine to pair with Roman Roast Lamb (Abbacchio Alla Romana)?
We choose a tremendous Roman wine such as the Cesanese del Piglio Superiore Civitella from Mario Macciocca’s cellar, spicy and sumptuous but with an excellent background vivacity. If you don’t find this jewel of Lazio winemaking, rely on the great classics such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Aglianico, Amarone, Barolo and Brunello di Montalcino.
If you want to pair a cocktail, the Negroni is splendid for charm and power and pairs perfectly with this dish.