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Lamb made "All'Arrabbiata" or "Alla Diavola"

Two traditional recipes based on lamb meat are here described (and beware the proverb "La carne pecorina svergogna chi la cucina" = Lamb meat is shame for a cook").

From Nice Cortelli Lucrezi, "Le Ricette della Nonna - L'Arte del Mangiar Bene in Abruzzo", first published 1966; out of print, reproduced by courtesy of Mrs Cortelli's son, Dr Alfonso Lucrezi - all rights reserved. The book collects traditional Abruzzo recipes, from first courses to "liqueurs of yesterday and today", and has the flavor of ancient things and memories. In fact, the author searched among old notebooks, listened to the women of the past and "the convivial secrets of the oldest families as well as the revelations made in a low voice".

"All'Arrabbiata"

Ingredients (To serve 4 to 6)
  • boneless lamb, cubed 2 to 2 1/2 lb
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 fl oz oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2tsp chopped rosemary
  • 7 fl oz white wine

Preparation
Season the meat with salt, pepper and the cayenne pepper, and brown in a frying pan with the oil, garlic cloves and rosemary. Cook over a high heat, shaking the pan frequently to avoid sticking. When the lamb is golden-brown, add the white wine and continue cooking, uncovered, until the wine evaporates. Serve immediately.

'A Cutturo

Ingredients (To serve 4)
  • boned shoulder or leg of lamb,2 to 2 1/2 lb, cut into serving pieces
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • lard 1 oz
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 4 sage leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 thick slices home-made bread

Preparation
The shepherds at Lucoli, who live out in the open during the summer, cook their lamb in a copper stew-pot, which is hung by an iron chain from three stakes stuck in the ground. Heat the oil and lard in a heavy iron casserole or stew-pot. Place the meat in the casserole, together with the onion, parsley and sage. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over a low heat for 1 - 2 hours or until the meat is tender. Add a spoonful or two of water if the pieces dry up too much and the meat begins to scorch. Place the slices of bread in individual soup plates. When the meat is cooked, pour the broth and the meat over the bread and serve.