The food of Molise, a small region in southern central Italy with a patch of coastline on the Adriatic, is not a cuisine of the wealthy, but a food of the woodsmen and shepherds, a cuisine of the land. Vegetables, legumes and pulses abound, as do powerful flavours. What this particular dish lacks in looks, it makes up for in taste - the egg thickens all the lovely cooking juices into a custard. Serve it with some lemon wedges to cut the richness; all it needs as accompaniments are crusty bread and a simple salad. If you want to make individual serves, divide the mixture between ovenproof serving dishes just before scattering it with the cheeses in step two.
- 2½ tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 100 gm mild pancetta, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 boneless lamb shoulder (1.6kg), cut into 6cm pieces
- 250 ml dry white wine (1 cup)
- 500 ml veal stock (2 cups)
- 3 rosemary sprigs
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 90 gm each finely grated pecorino and parmesan
- 180 gm frozen peas (1½ cups)
- 1Preheat oven to 200C. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan over high heat, add onion, pancetta and garlic, stir occasionally until caramelised (10-15 minutes) and transfer to a casserole. Wipe out pan, add lamb and remaining oil in 2 batches and turn occasionally until lamb is browned (3-5 minutes). Transfer to casserole. Deglaze pan with wine, add to casserole with stock and rosemary, season to taste, cover and braise in oven until tender (45 minutes-1 hour).
- 2Transfer lamb to a bowl using a slotted spoon and keep warm. Add egg, 75gm pecorino and 75gm parmesan to casserole, whisk to combine, then return lamb to casserole with peas. Stir to combine, scatter with remaining cheeses and bake, uncovered, until custard is set and crust is golden (15-30 minutes). Serve hot.
This recipe is from the April 2012 issue of .