When Dino Lazzaro and I cooked this dish together in his nineteenth-century kitchen in L’Aquila, capital of the Abruzzi, we used a lovely old copper pot over the open fire. Dino is the L’Aquila representative of L’Accademia della Cucina Italiana, a lay organisation which helps to promote and inspire Italian cuisine at its best. He told me that the local lamb has a particularly good flavour because of all the wonderful wild herbs and grasses that grow in the mountains. As mutton and lamb have been the only meat available locally for so long, there are lots and lots of very different ways of cooking it; but in Dino’s opinion this is one of the best recipes. I must say that the combination of egg and lemon juice works very well with the tender lamb, and the underlying sting of chilli pepper livens everything up. Be careful not to let the egg overcook and ruin the dish.
Put the lamb, garlic, oil and chilli into a deep pan and brown the lamb thoroughly all over. After about 10 minutes, during which time you must turn the meat frequently, remove the garlic and chilli. Now add the wine and raise the heat to evaporate the alcohol fumes for 2 minutes. Season with salt, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs and lemon juice until well blended in a separate bowl. When the lamb is cooked, pour the egg mixture over the meat and stir the juices quickly until the egg is just set. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve at once.
© 1990 Valentina Harris. All rights reserved.