Thursday, March 31, 2011

Italian Feast Part 3 - Anchovy & Rosemary Roasted Lamb with Salsa Verde

This is our last and final post for our Italian Feast series and it does not disappoint. Thought Italian food was all pasta? Think again. This beautiful and flavorful lamb recipe is simple and easy.

Don't let the anchovies turn you off. There is nothing fishy about these little guys, they are pure salty flavor and no one will know you've even added them.

This dish is a two-parter. First there is a marinade for the lamb. This can be marinated for 5 hours in the fridge or 1 hour on the counter-top. If you go the fridge route be sure to let it come to room temp for an hour before roasting.

The second part is this delicious salsa verde. Don't even think about skipping it! It's 10 minutes of prep and gives a huge return on that investment.

We used around a 3 lb leg that we got from Whole Foods and cut this recipe in half. There was more than enough meat to feed 4-5 people with just that. One leftover meal we made is dicing the some of the leftover lamb and adding it to the leftover salad. Tah-dah, lunch!

Lamb isn't cheap so do your homework and learn what to look for when purchasing it. If you know of a local farmer who raises grass-fed lamb, go that route. We normally would but we didn't prepare that far in advance.

If purchasing a leg is out of the question because of the cost look for some thick chops and cut the recipe in 4ths. Also adjust cooking times.

We thoroughly enjoyed this meal. Everything went perfectly together and paired beautifully with our Biltmore Pinot Noir. It was classic Italian in that it was simple ingredients and easy to prepare. Hope you will give this a try on your next special occasion, date night, or family gathering. Salute!

Check out!
Part 1 - Escarole & Edamame Salad
Part 2 - SoufflĂ©ed Gnocchi 

Anchovy & Rosemary Roasted Lamb with Salsa Verde
Serves 6
Active Time: 30 min
Start-finish: 3 1/2 hours (includes marinade time)

  • 6 Garlic cloves
  • 9 flat anchovy fillets, drained and patter dry
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tbsp chopped Rosemary
  • 1 (6-7lb) semiboneless leg of lamb (aitchbone removed), all but thin layer of fat discarded and lamb tied
  1. Marinate lamb: mince garlic and anchovies and mash into a paste with a large heavy knife, then stir together with oil and rosemary in a small bowl. Pat lamb dry and transfer, fat side up, to rack in pan. Make several small 1-inch deep slits in lamb with a paring knife, then rub marinade over entire surface of lamb, pushing some marinade into slits. Marinade lamb loosely covered, at room temp 1 hour.
  2. Roast Lamb: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Sprinkle lamb all over with 2 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, then roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of lamb (almost to the bone but not touching it) registers 125 degree for medium-rare, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours (temp in thinner parts of leg may register up to 160 degrees). Let stand 30 minutes before slicing. 
Salsa Verde
Makes 3/4 cup
Active time 10 minutes

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 9 flat anchovy fillets, drained, patted dry, and minced.
  • 2 1/2 tbsp drained bottled capers
  • 6 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 1 tsp white-wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  1. Stir together all ingredients in a bowl. Can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Great for fish, poultry, steamed veggies, and other meats
 Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Italian Kitchen Magazine Winter/Spring 2011

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