Spezzatino d’Agnello con Gremolata

Lamb Ragout with Gremolata

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    6 to 8

Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

A little twist on the classic gremolata. The orange adds a wonderful dimension to the flavor of the lamb and the tomatoes. Try it with fresh ginger for an interesting variation.


  • 8 tablespoons (or as needed) olive oil
  • 3 pounds lamb shoulder, trimmed well and cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • 2 large onions, cut into medium dice
  • 2 cups diced seeded peeled fresh or canned tomatoes with 1 cup of the juices
  • 1 cup Lamb or Chicken Stock
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (optional)
  • 3 large carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • 6 small zucchini, cut lengthwise in half, then into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 cups slender green beans, trimmed


  • 9 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon each grated orange and lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon very finely minced garlic


Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a large deep sauté pan or casserole over high heat. Add as many lamb cubes as will comfortably fit in the pan (overcrowding will cause the lamb to steam rather than brown) and brown on all sides; set aside. Repeat with the remaining lamb cubes, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons oil to the pan as needed for each batch.

Heat 3 more tablespoons oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, 7 to 10 minutes. Return the lamb to the pan and add the tomatoes, stock, garlic, orange zest, thyme, and ginger if using. Heat to boiling. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer the stew very gently until the lamb is tender, about 1½ hours. Add the carrots for the last 30 minutes of cooking. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Skim well.

Meanwhile, heat a large pot of salted water to boiling. Add the zucchini and boil until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and refresh under cold running water. Reheat the water to boiling, add the beans, and boil until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water.

Combine all the gremolata ingredients.

Stir the zucchini, beans, and gremolata into the finished stew and heat through. Serve with roasted potatoes or green fettuccine.