- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 pound thinly sliced pancetta
- 4 hard-cooked eggs, finely chopped
- 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano (4 ounces)
- 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
- 5 large garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of excess fat, meat cut into 12 pieces
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup water
- One 28-ounce can peeled Italian tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
How to make this recipe
- In a deep 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the pancetta slices and cook over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a work surface and chop finely. Reserve the skillet and fat.
- In a large bowl, mix the pancetta with the eggs, pecorino cheese, bread crumbs, 6 tablespoons of the parsley and half of the minced garlic. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Working with 1 piece of lamb at a time, place the meat on a work surface between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound it into a roughly 4-by-6-inch rectangle, 1/4 inch thick. Spoon the filling onto each pounded piece of lamb, leaving a 1-inch border on one of the shorter sides. Starting on the shorter end, press the filling to compact it slightly and roll the lamb into a tight cylinder. Tuck in any loose flaps of lamb and tie up the rolls with kitchen string.
- Set the skillet over moderately high heat until the fat shimmers. Add the lamb rolls in a single layer and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the lamb rolls to a large plate. Add the onion to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and simmer until slightly reduced, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet, about 3 minutes. Add the water, chopped tomatoes, crushed red pepper and a pinch of salt.
- Return the lamb rolls and any accumulated juices to the skillet and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and simmer over moderately low heat until the lamb is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the lamb to a deep platter, cover with foil and keep warm.
- Boil the sauce over high heat, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour over the lamb rolls, sprinkle with the remaining parsley and serve.
The lamb rolls can be refrigerated in their sauce for up to 3 days.
Serve with Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, made from the grape of the same name and known for its cherrylike fruit flavors and firm acidity.