Recipe: Lamb cutlets with white wine, chilli and rosemary

By Silvia Nacamulli, April 15, 2010

It is spring. That means lamb season again. This year I propose another recipe using delicious abbacchio, which is the Roman term for spring lamb. Almost any restaurant in Rome, refined or rustic, offers wonderful abbacchio dishes this time of the year when the meat is at its most tender and full of flavour.
I suggest cooking lamb cutlets which are tender and not too fatty; or lamb chops, which have a similar cooking process. However, for this dish you can use any cut of lamb, as long as it is cut into pieces, and preferably on the bone. The cooking time may vary for different cuts. The key to this dish is to cook it on the stove, alla cacciatora style, which literally translates as "the hunter's way". With strong flavours such as vinegar, chilli, garlic, wine and rosemary, this dish is sure to lift your spirits.

Preparation time: 30 minutes.
Serves four as a main course.

● 8-12 lamb cutlets/chops
● 3 cloves of finely slices cloves of garlic
● 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
● Bunch of fresh rosemary
● Generous splash of white wine (approx. 200 ml)
● Splash of cider or white wine vinegar (approx. 50 ml)
● Pinch of dry crushed red chilli
● Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

● Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or shallow saucepan and add the garlic, the chilli, a little rosemary and after a minute a splash of white wine.
● Leave the wine to evaporate and then add the lamb, salt and pepper.
● Leave to cook over a high flame for a couple of minutes, until the cutlets/chops are slightly golden on both sides.
● Reduce the flame, add a splash of vinegar and leave to cook for another couple of minutes until it partly evaporates. Stir, add the remaining rosemary, cover with a lid and reduce the flame to low. Leave to cook, turning each cutlet/chop and occasionally splashing a little more wine.
● Tip: If the lamb dries out and no sauce is left in the pan, then add a few tablespoons of warm water to ease the cooking process.
● Once the lamb is cooked, increase the flame, add the last splash of wine and leave the sauce to condense for a couple of minutes.
● The cooking time for a tender lamb cutlet/chop varies according to the quality and the quantity of the lamb, but will take about 15-20 minutes. If you like your lamb well done, leave it to cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Silvia Nacamulli is running three cookery courses in Tuscany this summer. Two five-day courses on June 20-25 and June 27- July 2 are open to everyone, and one from the May 28-31 is for singles aged 30-45, in co-operation with the Jewish Community Centre for London. Details at

Last updated: 11:33am, April 15 2010