Spezzato di Agnello coi Carciofi

Lamb Stew With Artichokes

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For



Appears in

Marcella's Italian Kitchen

Marcella's Italian Kitchen

By Marcella Hazan

Published 1986

  • About

Artichokes and lamb are an apt association of flavors. The palate-coating succulence of the lamb benefits from the mordant freshness of the artichokes. Should the artichokes be not quite as young and tender as they ought to, do not hesitate to extend the cooking time; it will do the dish no harm.


  • 4 or 5 artichokes
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • pounds lamb shoulder, cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • Salt
  • Black pepper in a grinder
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup lukewarm water


  1. Clean the artichokes as described, making sure to cut the tops down to the tender, edible part. Slice the artichokes into wedges ¾ inch thick and put them in a bowl of cold water together with the lemon juice.
  2. Choose a lidded sauté pan that can later accommodate all the lamb pieces without overlapping. Put in the oil, onion, and rosemary and turn on the heat to medium high. Do not cover the pan.
  3. When the onion becomes colored a pale gold, add the meat, browning it on all sides. Do not be concerned if you see the onion become colored very dark brown. Add the garlic.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and several grindings of pepper and add the wine. Let the wine bubble for about 1 minute, then turn down the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook for about 1 hour, until the meat feels tender when pricked with a fork.
  5. Dissolve the tomato paste in the water.
  6. Drain the artichokes and add them to the pan. Stir thoroughly once or twice, then add the dissolved tomato paste, stir again, cover the pan, raise the heat to medium low, and cook until the artichoke wedges are tender, testing them with a fork. Depending on the youth and freshness of the artichokes, it should take about 15 minutes. At the end, there should be no watery liquid left. If there is still some remaining by the time the artichokes are done, uncover the pan, raise the heat, and boil the liquid away.