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Cooking + Entertaining

Abbacchio alla romana: the recipe for a festive main dish typical of the Lazio tradition

Abbacchio alla romana: the recipe for a festive main dish typical of the Lazio tradition


extra virgin olive oil

for the anchovy sauce

I’Lamb Alla Romana it is a great classic of Roman and Lazio cuisine. It’s a second typical of the Easter lunch prepared with lamb: that is to say with milk-fed or freshly weaned lamb, whose meat is particularly tender and tasty.

In the traditional recipe proposed here, the lamb cut into pieces is seasoned with a mixture of herbs, garlic cloves, oil and 1 glass of white wine, then put in the oven for about 1 hour and finally drizzled with its own cooking juices. Once ready, it is flavored with a quick and appetizing sauce made from anchovy minced, vinegar, garlic and rosemary minced, then put back in the oven for a few moments: the result will be a succulent and tender dish, to accompany a portion of baked potatoes or a mixed salad, and brought to the table for a cena family with a glass of red wine.

An apparently unusual combination, the one with anchovies, which will enhance the meat, making it incredibly aromatic and tasty. If you don’t have salted fish available, you can replace it, if necessary, with a little anchovy paste diluted in extra virgin olive oil or you can use 2-3 teaspoons of capers chopped.

At will, you can choose to buy the whole lamb, already ready and cut into pieces by your trusted butcher, or opt for the shoulder or the leg: cut among the leanest and most valuable.

Find out how to prepare lamb alla romana by following the step-by-step procedure and tips. If you liked this recipe, also try the lamb scottadito.

How to prepare lamb alla romana

Cut the lamb into pieces 1.

Transfer the meat to a roasting pan 2.

Perfume with sprigs of rosemary 3.

Add the sage leaves 4.

Mix the garlic cloves 5.

Pour extra virgin olive oil 6.

Moisten with white wine 7and season with salt and pepper. Then place the lamb in an oven preheated to 180°C and cook for about 1 hour, occasionally basting the meat with its cooking juices.

Meanwhile, desalt the anchovies by soaking them in cold water 8.

Open the booklet, remove the central bone and chop it with a knife 9.

Collect the anchovies in a small bowl with 1 garlic clove and the chopped rosemary needles ten.

Pour the vinegar 11.

Mix with a spoon 12 and keep aside.

Once the cooking time has elapsed, take the lamb out of the oven. 13.

Season the meat with the anchovy sauce 14 and return to the oven at 180°C for 5 minutes.

Once ready, take the lamb alla romana out of the oven and bring it to the table 15 and serve.


The smell of lamb is not as lingering as that of older lamb, but if you prefer a more delicate flavor, we still suggest marinating the meat: just season it with lemon juice or White wineextra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and aromatic herbs to taste, and leave to rest in the refrigerator, covered with transparent film, for about 1 hour.

If you wish, you can coat the meat in flour and brown it in a frying pan with oil, garlic and rosemary, or you can add artichokes cut into quarters during cooking: for the most traditional and popular.


Lamb à la romaine can be stored in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for A day massive.

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